In Ethiopia’s western Gambella region, 540 people–mostly ethnic Amhara–were killed during a massacre that began in the town of Meti, Godere Zone.

The massacre took place September 10, and was not reported until Voice of America’s (VOA) Amharic Service covered the killings last week.

The massacre began after the Ethiopian government began to forcefully evict Mezenger people from their ancestral land as part of a plan to redistribute the land to recently retired TPLF Generals.

Ethnic Massacre Kills 540 in Ethiopia (1)In the government program, the land is handed over to the retired servicemen for “investment” purposes. The effect of the plan has included an illegal campaign of selling lands, accompanied by the arrival of hundreds of “Tirgrayans’ as ‘workers’ for the TPLF land developers.

Read more: Ethnically Targeted Violence in Ethiopia Uncovered by Amnesty International

By Day Blakely Donaldson