Ethiopia’s state affiliated broadcaster says police have uncovered a mass grave of 200 people in the troubled area between the country’s Oromia and Somali regions.
Fana Broadcasting reported Thursday evening that police were carrying out a court-ordered investigation for evidence of alleged abuses by forces loyal to the former president of the Somali region, Abdi Mohammed, who is now in detention.
The Fana report said that police were granted 14 days to unearth and do forensic examinations on the estimated 200 bodies that have been found.
The bodies appear to be related to a series of ethnic clashes carried out by an unofficial militia known as the Liyu that were loyal to the former Somali region leader. In August, Ethiopian officials said the Liyu carried out an attack that killed 41 people and injured 20 others. Human Rights Watch accused the Liyu of carrying out a brutal and relentless pattern of abuse, torture, rape and humiliation in the region.
Several hundred others were also reportedly killed when ethnic Somalis and Oromos clashed in border areas over claims to land and other resources in previous months.
A number of ethnic-based conflicts have raged across Ethiopia posing the most serious challenge to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since he came to power in April.