Gunmen kill 19 people in Ethiopia, abduct five womenBy ARGAW ASHINE | Wednesday, March 14 2012 at 08:39
An armed group ambushed a public bus and killed 19 people in western Ethiopia region of Gambela, officials have confirmed.
The Monday incident occurred some 20 kilometres from the regional capital, Gambela town.
According to an eye witness, people armed with machine-gun, abducted five female passengers out of the 34, who were in the bus. Seven other people were severely wounded.
"We are investigating the incident. We will release more information soon," region's president Omud Abiang said declining to comment further on the attacks.
In response, the Ethiopian government has dispatched its security forces to the area to hunt down the perpetuators.
Gambela region, neighbouring with South Sudan is one of the nine Ethiopian government federal states which has its own regional government known for tribal squabbling.
The region is a leading destination for foreign agriculture investment popularly known as "Land grabbing".
Currently, the Ethiopian government is implementing its "villagisation"(resettlement) program aimed at resettling more than 70,000 rural residents mainly from Gambela.
Some local groups, organised along ethnic lines, are opposed to the plan. To express their opposition to it, they have attacked foreign farm workers and properties.
But that has not stalled the programme. So far, the Ethiopian government has secured 3 million Hectares of arable land, a third of which has been allocated to various foreign companies. Saudi Star(Saudi Arabia )and Karuturi Global (India) are the leading business companies in the agriculture business in Gambela region.
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