Ethiopia: Arrests and Killings of Oromos and Invading Oromia Borders Continue Unabated Under the New Prime Minister
HRLHA Press Release, July 4, 2018
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) condemns the continuous mass murders of the Oromo people in the Eastern Oromia border villages by the Somali Regional State killing groups ” Liyu Police” supported by the Federal Military Generals. About 400 Somali Regional State Liyyu Police attacked on July 3, 2018, crossed the Oromia border into Babile zone in Dawud and Janje villages of Oromia and killed over 10 people and burned down over 120 homes. This inhuman action by fully armed Liyu Police against unarmed Oromos was the continuation of the attacks in the Cinaksen district of Hararge zone, Oromia that has been attacked on a daily basis by the Liyu police in the past several months.
The HRLHA has repeatedly reported these meaningless attacks and killings of Oromos and the looting of their belongings ever since the invasions by the Somali Regional Government Liyu Police began in 2013. During these years, over 1500 Oromos have been killed and thousands have been injured and remain disabled.
The Oromo people’s suffering on the border of Somali Regional State has escalated since Dr. Abiy Ahammed, a member of OPDO (an organization that claims to represent Oromo people), was appointed as Prime Minister and commander in-chief of the country on April 2, 2018. Dr, Abiy Ahammed later appointed Mr. Motuma Maqassa a member of the ministry of defense.
Today, The Oromo people are under severe attack from different directions by the neighboring regional states- from the east from Somali Regional state Liyu Police, from the west by Benshangul Militias, from the north by Afar Regional State Militia and all supported by the Federal Military Generals.
The authorities in Oromia Regional State, including the president Lama Megersa, have a responsibility to defend/protect the Oromia Regional State territories and its people from any danger, natural or man made. On the contrary, the President of Oromia, who has an authority to lead the Oromia Regional State security and police- according to the Oromia Regional State Constitution article, 56 (6), the president ” He/she shall exercise overall supervision and guidance over the functions of security services and the police forces of the Region in the enforcement of law and order”- prefers silence .
All Oromia Regional State Authorities including Oromia Regional lawmakers “the Caffee”, have given a deaf ear while the people they claim are represented by them were/are under severe attacks and Oromia borders are also under attack from all directions by neighboring armed groups/militias.
In another incident, the conflict between the Oromo Guji and Gede’o people, which started a month ago and in which over 30 people have been reportedly killed and over thousands have been displaced in Karcha district of several villages and different properties- including houses- have been destroyed, is also unresolved. The reports from the eyewitnesses around the incident shows that merciless attacks by the two ethnic groups in conflict were instigated by government authorities among people who had had friendly relations for several years.
Arbitrary killings, forced disappearances and detentions are continuing, mostly in Oromia Regional state in particular and all Ethiopians feel that their lives are safe.
The HRLHA’s informants reported that several Oromo young men and women were forcefully disappeared from different parts of Oromia zones recently. Among them were Engineer Shanko Solomon, birth place Nekemt town, Wallaga was abducted in Addis Ababa on July 3, 2018 by the security and Obse Taye, a young women who was released from Quality prison; she was again abducted from Ambo town on the same date.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) urges the new Ethiopian Prime Minster and commander in chief, Dr. Abiy Ahmmed, to use his legitimate power as stated in the 1995 Ethiopian constitution Article 74 (1) ” The Prime Minister is the Chief Executive, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, and the Commander-in-Chief of the national armed forces” and abide by Article 74 (3), He shall follow up and ensure the implementation of laws, policies, directives and other decisions adopted by the House of Peoples’ Representatives” and international human rights standards to protect civilians from atrocities.
The HRLHA also urges the PM of Ethiopia to:
- Dissolve the Liyu Police and bring to justice the TPLF commanders and Liyu Police members who committed crimes against humanity against Oromos on the Oromo-Somali border during the past seven years (2013 to present)
- Deploy investigators to the conflict area between Gede’o and Oromos
- Release unconditionally those Oromos recently arrested and those who have been languishing in prison for years
- Disclose the whereabouts of prominent Oromos disappeared by the EPRDF government in the past years, including Dabbasa Guyyo, Nadhi Gamada and others
- Invite all political parties to form an all-inclusive and genuine transitional government to bring sustainable peace and stability to the country