200 dead and 100 abducted in Ethiopian Raids

Over 200 hundred have been killed and over 100 children kidnapped by armed militants from South-Sudan in a cross border raid into Ethiopia. 

Officials from Ethiopia have blamed the South Sudanese Murle tribesman for the deadly attacks which took place within some districts in the Gambela region in Ethiopia’s west. The region which is spread across the border of Ethiopia and South Sudan is home to close to 300,000 fleeing refugees from South Sudan.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, confirmed to the public through an announcement on state television that the death toll had increased from an earlier estimate of 140. “The atrocities committed by an armed Murle tribe from South Sudan has claimed the lives of 208.” 

Desalegn also commented that measures were being taken to rescue those abducted. “The Ethiopian defence force is taking measures against the attackers to free the abducted children without any precondition,” he said. 

While the Murle tribesmen who are based in eastern Jongeli region, close to the Ethiopian border have often raided villages to steal cattle and abduct children nothing has been seen on such a large or deadly scale.

However, the gunmen are not believed to have links with South Sudanese government troops or rebel forces who fought the government in Juba in a civil war that ended with a peace deal signed in 2015.

This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2016.
Posted 10:42am Sunday 24th April 2016 by Hugh Baird.