Ethiopia: Massacre Reported in Oromia State

    Photo: Getty Images [via ABC News]

    The Facts

    • Ethiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed on Mon. accused the rebel group Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) of carrying out a massacre of Amhara civilians in Qellem Wollega in the western Oromia state as it retreated from a government offensive.

    • No official death figures have been provided, but the Amhara Association of America told the Associated Press that 150 to 160 people may have been killed in the attacks, quoting sources on the ground.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Ethnic disputes in Ethiopia have been fueled by PM Abiy's decision to centralize power, with the apparent aim of reverting Ethiopia's federalism. His imperial nostalgia and rhetoric have driven fears of imperial-era "homogenizing" policies, and the government's decision to downplay Oromia's opposition concerns only serves to block a peaceful solution.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Ethiopia has always been a multi-ethnic, multinational and multi-religious society, but extremist forces are taking atrocious actions to create a dispute between the Amhara and Oromo people. Division doesn't help anyone in the country, and Ethiopians must fight together against this threat.

    Cynical narrative

    This is sadly just the latest war crime to take place in Ethiopia since the civil war started. The country has plunged into a bloody conflict and civilians are paying the price. But where is the international outrage? This is one of the world's deadliest ongoing wars and the global community needs to be fairer in its recognition and pushing for a peaceful solution.

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