250 People Detained for Recent Killings in Oromia Region: Official

By Staff Reporter

Zinabu-TunuDecember 20, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The federal attorney general of Ethiopia has announced the detention of 250 people allegedly involved in the recent killings in different parts of Oromia state of Ethiopia.

Briefing journalists on Friday, Federal Attorney-General Public Relations Director Zinabu Tunu said the suspects were accused of orchestrating deadly conflicts along ethnic and religious lines.

At least 86 people were killed and more than 150 others wounded in the protracted attack allegedly committed by ethnic Oromo youth otherwise called Qeerroo from October 23 to 25, 2019.

According to the director, police have identified other 87 suspects who allegedly participated in the ethnic and religious-based attacks and the prosecutor filed a lawsuit against some suspects in absentia.

The religious and ethnic-based attacks erupted following rallies against Abiy, this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in different parts of Oromia state on October 23 after a high-profile activist and media personality accused security forces of trying to orchestrate an attack against him - claim Ethiopian police denied.

More than 16 university students have been arrested on suspicion instigating the ethnic-based disputes on university grounds where the loss of lives and destruction of properties occurred last month, Zinabu continued.

According to the director, there is still a limitation with the police to identify the masterminds of the conflicts on university grounds since the attacks were carried out in groups and along ethnic lines.

The public and government administrative structures rather preferred reluctance and did not want to expose perpetrators and that created a challenging situation for the police to track down perpetrators on university grounds, he said.

Zinabu said the draft law on hate speech and dissemination of fake news as well as firearms control and administration are among the revised laws that the government has been formulating to curb conflict in the country.

Meanwhile, the Federal Attorney General announced that it has retrieved 50 million birr during the past five months. The money was embezzled by former government officials and their affiliates.

Zinabu said his office has also finalized preparations to retrieve an additional 300 million birr stolen public funds from state-owned enterprises, federal government institutions.

“The whereabouts of the stolen public funds have been identified, and discussions with governments of the receiving countries are underway to bring the money back to Ethiopia,” he added.

Zinabu further disclosed that the Federal Attorney General of Ethiopia over the last six months was able to settle 312 million birr unaccounted money spent by federal government offices without legal financial rules in the 2009/10 Ethiopian budget year.

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