The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has received reports that Sedal Woreda, in Kamashi Zone of Benishangul-Gumuz Region, with an estimated population of 25,000, has come under near full control of an armed group as of April 19, 2021. Residents who have fled the area told EHRC that the armed group has burned down and looted public and private property and that the woreda administration and local police have fled the area. There are also reports that civilians have been killed and public servants have been kidnapped. According to residents and officials EHRC spoke to, a small contingent of the regional security force in the vicinity is outnumbered and additional forces deployed to the area have not reached the locality yet.
This escalation of the insecurity plaguing the region is alarming. EHRC is monitoring the situation and is in communication with federal and regional government authorities. The Commission calls for the immediate reinforcement of the security forces in the area and in the region as a whole and a speedy intervention to prevent further loss of life and human rights violations.