Ethiopia cracks down on illegal military training facility

by Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (October 15, 2018)

Police in Ethiopia’s western restive region of Benishangul-Gumuz say they have cracked down on an illegal military training facility in the region.

The regional police commissioner told the Ethiopian Television that about 400 trainees, mostly teenagers, were undergoing military training at the illegal facility in Asossa district.

According to the statement by the commissioner, Seyfedin Harun, police had arrested 31 trainees while over 20 had surrendered voluntarily. He said they have also caught weapons.

The remaining trainees have crossed into the Sudan and police said search was underway to arrest them.

The group was bent on destabilizing the region, according to the commissioner who said among the trainees were factions of the Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement and other groups that he said oppose the ongoing political reforms in the country.

The Benishangul-Gumuz region has seen its share of violence recently as ethnic motivated attacks claimed the lives of dozens of people in areas bordering with the Oromo region. Thousands have also been displaced in the last few weeks.

The recent violence began at the end of September when four officials from Kemashi Zone of Benishangul-Gumuz were killed in the Oromo region. The officials were killed on their way back from a joint security meeting with their counterpart in the Oromo region. That incident triggered further killings and displacement.