Sugar Factory Suspends Production Following Deadly Attacks, Looting

Published online: May 30, 2023 News www.borkena.com
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Addis Ababa – Ethiopian Sugar Industry Group (ESIG) disclosed  that 14 people were killed in Fincha Sugar Factory and the nearby area by “unidentified attackers.” The source said that 11 of the deceased are factory workers while three are people residing in the area.

Public Relation Section Head of ESIG, Reta Demeke said that the attack was perpetrated last Saturday, 20 May 2023 in Fincha Sugar Factory, some 350 km from Addis Ababa. Reta said that though the factory was attacked repeatedly during the last and current budget years, the recent assault was a serious one.

Fincha Sugar Factory, located in Horo-Guduru Wollega Zone of Oromia Region, has its sugarcane plantation spread over a total of 67,000 hectares of land, according to Reta. “The previous attacks were mainly focussed on the factory’s sugarcane plantation. That time the armed militias set the sugarcane farms and factory machineries alight. However, in the recent incident they have committed assault by entering into the factory. This made the current attack different from the previous ones,” Reta said.  

A task force, which was established by ESIG to investigate the loss, confirmed that 11 factory workers and three people residing near the factory were dead. The taskforce further confirmed through its investigation that offices, computers, printers, financial documents, monitoring computers, farming machineries, tractors and sugarcane transporting wagons were destroyed or partially damaged. The armed attackers have also looted sugar and soil fertilisers stockpiled in the storehouse, according to the public relation head.

Reta was reluctant to speak of the identity of the perpetrators. “It is not my responsibility to speak of the identity of the attackers,” he said.

Fincha Sugar Factory, which has the capacity of producing 270,000 tons of sugar has stopped operation following the attack and looting carried out last week, it was learnt.