Mistaken identity leads to nine civilian deaths in Ethiopia


Ethiopian soldiers killed nine civilians and injured 12 after mistaking them for rebels near a town on the border with Kenya, state media said.

The soldiers were deployed to the Moyale area of Oromiya region in pursuit of Oromo Liberation Front fighters who crossed into Ethiopia from three locations, the Ethiopian News Agency said.
“Nine civilians were killed and 12 others injured during an operation launched with faulty intelligence,” members of the armed forces told the agency.

Several soldiers are suspended and under investigation, it said, adding a high-level military delegation was dispatched to the area to launch an inquiry.

The Oromo Liberation Front is a secessionist group which government has branded as terrorist.

The incident happened as outbreaks of violence continue to plague the country, mostly in Oromiya.

Last month, Addis Ababa imposed a six-month, nationwide state of emergency to tamp down unrest in Africa’s second most populous nation.

The move was made a day after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his resignation in what he said was a bid to smooth the way for reforms.

His replacement is expected to be named this month.