At least 23 people were killed in a weekend of violence near the capital Addis Ababa. It is reported that mobs of ethnic Oromo youths brutally attacked non-Oromo people, committed sexual violence, looted businesses and destroyed houses. The violence resulted in the displacement of 13 000 persons, mostly women and children who fled the area to seek refuge in 12 different sites of the capital, as well as with host communities. The Ethiopian Red Cross Society rapidly provided humanitarian assistance to the displaced people, in the form of non-food items. Major demonstrations against the killings erupted on Monday in Addis Ababa and paralysed the capital.
This new episode of ethnic violence recalls the violence also allegedly perpetuated by ethnic Oromo youth against ethnic Gedeo population in the southern part of the country last April and June, which resulted in the internal displacement of one million people in less than two months. Despite many internally displaced persons (IDPs) not feeling safe to return to their place of origin, Ethiopian authorities have started to return IDPs since mid-August, which is in contravention of the necessary voluntary nature such returns must entail. Ethiopia is the country with one of the highest number of IDPs for the first half of 2018.