Ethiopia Human Right Commission Opens Inquiry on Recent Violence

By Staff Reporter

Ethiopian-Human-Rights-CommissionOctober 31, 2019 ( -- The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has opened an inquiry on the wave of violence in the country and will deploy a team to probe human rights violations in violence-hit cities and towns of Oromia regional state of Ethiopia.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the commission has called for justice to be served against those individuals involved in the recent wave of violence directly or indirectly.

Many, however, question how the inquiry team will discharge its responsibilities to the best of its capacity in areas where the violence is ongoing and with the possibility of less cooperation from some officials in violence-hit places.

According to the commission, up to 80 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded in various areas during the protracted violence.

“Ten of the victims were shot dead by gun bullets from the security forces while the other 70 were killed cold-blooded during the violence,” said the statement that did not mention about the organized youth group from Oromia, also known as the Qeerroo, which is believed to have instigated the violence.

The violence has created a grave insecurity situation for millions of citizens and psychological scars on top of causing property damage worth millions of Birr.

Religious institutions were intentionally attacked during the violence, the statement from the Human Rights Commission said.

The commission believes there is favorable political commitment and situations for citizens to foreword their questions and demands in a legal and peaceful way, echoing the sentiment of many that the latest violence has nothing to do with legitimate demands, but criminal activities against innocent people. It is hard fact that there were people who instigated, participated in, and monitored the violence while some group of people staged demonstrations, the statement read.

The commission said the unrest was an attempt to meet demands through illegal, violent and terrorist acts, gravely challenging the supremacy of law and caused serious human rights violations.

Recalling the government’s statement to bring the perpetrators before justice, the commission also called for immediate action and advised the government to act quickly and effectively.  

The commission statement comes as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been holding a series of discussions with Oromo people in the violence-hit areas, including in Bale Robe and Ambo towns. He was accompanied by Ethiopian Defense Minister Lemma Megerssa and the President of the Oromia regional state, Shimeles Abdissa.

The commission will also investigate human rights violations that occurred in connection with recent unrest in the Sidama zone in Southern Ethiopia, with Qimant people of Amhara state, and attacks in areas bordering Afar and Somali regional states of the country.

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