2,000 Ethiopian fighters surrender to government

ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 27, (Xinhua/GNA) - Around 2,000 fighters in Ethiopia's western Benishangul-Gumuz regional state have surrendered, an Ethiopian official said on Thursday.





Ashadli Hassen, president of Bensihangul-Gumuz regional state, said the 2,000 fighters surrendered after recent security sweeps by the Ethiopian army forced the fighters to give up their weapons.

"The Ethiopian army has been able to improve security situation in unrest parts of the region," Hassen said, according to the Bensihangul-Gumuz regiononal communications affairs office. In recent months, deadly inter-communal violence in the Metekel zone of Benishangul-Gumuz regional state has killed thousands of civilians and displaced more than 100,000 others.

In one especially deadly incident in December, at least 207 people were killed in a massacre in Bekoji village, Metekel zone. The violence is mainly over access to power and land resources. Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State, located along the Ethiopia-Sudan border, hosts Ethiopia's largest development project, the 5,150 Megawatts (MW) the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is under construction on the Blue Nile River with a construction cost of close to five billion dollars.
GNA