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News: PM Abiy meets Metekel residents to discuss security; meeting comes a day after door-to-door ‘hunt’ launched to control “criminal groups” behind attacks on civilians

The news of the door-to-door hunt was announced yesterday at a community-based forum which was held in Asossa city. Picture: ENA/Asossa forum

By Siyanne Mekonnen @Siyaanne

Addis Abeba, December 22/2020 – Prime minister Abiy Ahmed is holding discussions with residents of Metekel Zone in Benishagul Gumuz regional state. According to state affiliated FanaBC, the discussion focused on finding lasting ways to resolve the security crisis in the area.

The attendees include Minister of Peace Muffriat Kamil, army Chief of Staff General Berhanu Jula, Benishagul Gumuz region President Ashadli Hassan and other federal and regional officials.

PM Abiy’s meeting came one day after the command Post in Benishangul Gumuz regional state, Metekel zone, announced that it has devised a “special strategy” in order to control the destruction caused by “criminal groups” and launched a “door-to-door hunt” to control the group operating in Metekel Zone of the regional state where sustained attacks on civilians left several dozen innocent people, including women and children, killed.

The news of the door-to-door hunt was announced yesterday at a community-based forum which was held in Asossa city, the capital of the regional state, yesterday during which regional security issues were also broadly discussed, ENA reported.

Zebid Budna, an official from Kamashi zone who participated in the forum, blamed “OLF/Shanne”, a government reference to members of the rebel group Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) as a threat to the region and said “a law enforcement operation similar to the one in Tigray” should be repeated in Benishagul Gumuz region.

Mohamed Kemal, another participant, recalled the violence that erupted in the regional capital city Asossa in 2018 and said that it was controlled because of the community’s dedication to peace and stability. He acknowledged the actions taken against repeated conflicts in the region and hinted at a possible involvement of government officials in the attacks.

Abdulwahid Hamad, Asossa zone, Kumruk Wereda leadership, on his part urged the community in various Weredas to work together to support the regional government.

The community based forum, which was also attended by Mussa Hamid, deputy head of peace and security bureau of Benishangul Gumuz, was part of a national consultative forum. Mussa Hamid blamed the source of the violence in Metekel zone on those who were “against the nationwide reform agenda.”

The consultative forum will continue today. AS

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