Ethiopian court sentences six to death for massacre

ADDIS ABABA, Sept 3 (Reuters ) – An Ethiopian court has sentenced six members of the Benishangule-Gumuz community to death and another 97 to prison terms for the massacre of Oromo villagers last year, a state agency reported on Thursday.

The 103 had been charged with genocide for killings that took place in May 2008. They gunned down or speared to death 93 members of the Oromo tribe, the state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) reported.

The two groups have for centuries lived side by side in western Ethiopia.

“The court found guilty the 103 members of the Benishangule-Gumuz after examining documents, pictures and video tape evidence presented by the prosecution and after the accused failed to exercise their right to defence,” ENA said.

Those that escaped the death sentence were handed prison terms ranging between six years to life imprisonment with hard labour. (Reporting by Tsegaye Tadesse, editing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura)