Seven Ethiopian Parties Call for Independent Body to Investigate Recent Killings
By Staff Reporter
July 25, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- Seven political parties have called on the Ethiopian government to form an indepedent body to investigate the killings of senior officials, including the late president of the Amhara regional state, Ambachew Mekonnen, and chief of staff of the Ethiopian defence forces, Seare Mekonnen, on June 22, 2019.
In a joint briefing on Thursday, the seven parties demanded the establishment of an independent body to look into the recent killings as well as the mass arrests that followed the killings. The seven parties demanding inquiry are All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP), Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Party (EPRP) Ethiopian National Unity Party (ENUP) , Oromo Liberation Movement Party (OLMP), Afar Peoples Liberation Party (APLP), Afar Peoples Justice and Democratic Party (APJDP).
The parties noted many people, including government officials, members of political parties and innocent people have been detained by the federal security forces in different parts of the country without adequate evidence.
"We call upon the unconditional halt to mass arrests, warning and chasing of people by the government forces. We demand the government to follow legal proceduers and ensure rule of law and order are respected. We request the government to establish an independent enquiry body to probe the case behind the killings of army generals and disclose the outcome to the Ethiopian public and the international community," said Mersha Yosef, the EPRP representative.
The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been detaining people who were allegedly involved in the killings of officials in Amhara state and army generals in Addis Ababa.
The arrests contradict the government's prior stand and commitment to the Ethiopian people that it will never charge anyone or arrest suspects without producing a reliable evidence.
The political parties further requested the federal government to bring the violence in Hawassa city and its envions of Southern Ethiopia under. Following the quest from some of the Sidama people for statehood, the region has been mired in turmoil, some of it resulting in death of innocent people and the destruction of properties.
"We call upon the government to bring those individuals who were involved in the killings, robberies and the displacement of people in Hawassa city and environ to justice," Abrham Getu, first chairman of AEUP said.
Ethiopia's South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) regional state has fallen under federal security force command post as of Tuesday July 23, 2019.
In a statement released on Wednesday this week, the central government on Wednesday said the move to intervene followed request from the SNNP regional state to overcome security challenges that pose serious threat to the well being of residents.
The seven parties also inked merger deal the same day in a bid to unseat the ruling party EPRDF (Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front). The merger is said to have followed a series of discussions among the parties having similar political ideology.
Announcing their ideology, the newly-merged political parties said they would like to institute federal governing system which is based on landscape, economy and cultrural relations.
"We have common cause, striving for a united Ethiopia," the parties stressed. Currently, some 132 political parties are said to be operating in Ethiopia.