Civilian abuses by Eritrean troops reported in Oromia and rest of Ethiopia

Civilian abuses by Eritrean troops reported in Oromia and rest of Ethiopia

Eritrea’s president, Isaias Afwerki, right, and Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, in Addis Ababa on Saturday. Credit…Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

By Noah Pitcher (Global politics writer), May 30, 2021

(Today News Africa) — Eritrean forces are responsible for committing ongoing and widespread human rights abuses against civilians in Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz regions, the Oromo Liberation Front detailed in a statement to Today News Africa on Sunday.

“As per the secret agreement made between Ethiopian ruling group and the Eritrean regime, the Eritrea forces have been deployed to Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz regions and repeating the same atrocities on civilians as that of the Northern part of the country,” said the statement.

While the abysmal humanitarian situation in Ethiopia’s most northern region of Tigray has drawn a great deal of international attention, Eritrean forces are reportedly responsible for ongoing human rights abuses and violations throughout much of Ethiopia including Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz regions.

According to the statement from the OLF, reliable information and tangible evidence points toward that Eritrean soldiers have been beating civilians, confiscating mobile phones, and arbitrarily detaining civilians in recent months.

The prolonged continuation of Eritrean military occupation in Ethiopia is believed by many to be a compromise of Ethiopian sovereignty and the ongoing disrespect for human lives has caused much controversy and has garnered condemnation from prominent players in the international community, including the United States.

The Ethiopian government announced in late March that Eritrean forces had agreed to withdraw from Ethiopia, chiefly the war-torn region of Tigray where millions are in need of assistance. However, Eritrea has yet to follow through on this agreement.

Foreign leaders have appealed on multiple occasions for Eritrean troops to leave Ethiopia. Yet, Eritrean forces continue to indiscriminately commit appalling human rights abuses and atrocities throughout the country, including other regions such as Oromia.

“The atrocities, that were proved in Tigray operations and evidenced by the international community investigations, are observed in similar fashion in Oromia,” asserted the Oromo Liberation Front.

As international attention focuses on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Tigray, stability and security are threatened throughout Oromia as well. The OLF implores the international community to take a firm stance and condemn the actions of Eritrean forces in Oromia.

“We insist that due attention be given to the behaviors of this perpetrators and the development in Oromia as it is causing suffering of civilians and loss of civilian lives in these conflict areas,” said the statement Sunday.

As civilian lives continue to be threatened not just in Northern Ethiopia but throughout Oromia and other regions of Ethiopia, it is imperative that the international community take action and call for an immediate end to all hostilities and atrocities in Ethiopia that threaten civilian lives and respect for national sovereignty.

Noah Pitcher is a U.S. and global politics writer at Today News Africa who specializes in covering the White House. A full-time undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo, Noah is studying Political Science with a concentration in global politics. Noah’s background and experience include working on congressional campaigns, with elected members of the American government, and as part of numerous research teams.


  1. Good afternoon

    please please please donot release these mercenaries. I hope you are not gonna call them our brothers like TDF commanders who ridiculously contributing the massacre of our people. TDF errenously compare the war and POWS of Dergue regime with current invading forces who invite foreign forces and use drones and determine exterminate Tigray ! It is unwise to say that we have to release these ENDF and EDF POWs who deliberately hide thmselves in towns and kill innocents and compare them with dergue soldiers . Secondly, we are living in our land and these are came to invade us.

    Donot release POWS, esp those from eritrea who are motivated by highest salaries and properties theyloot at the expense of killing mothers and sisters !
    remember,if you release these people you mean Eritreans lives matter than Oromos and you hypocritically honor the socacled law of POWS . Note this is not war but genocide intending to subjugate people to Abiy and Isyas.

  2. Geneva law is referring to POWS captured in warfront but not genociders hiding themselves in towns kill civilans and loot public facilities.

  3. How many individuals have been brought to justice for various atrocities: War crimes, genocides, extrajudicial killings, disappearances, tortures etc in Ethiopia? Except the current positive steps being taken by USA and Europe, many
    individuals/countries who could make a difference don’t live to what is expected of them. Worst genocide than that of Rwanda could happen in Ethiopia, if USA, Europe and other world powers don’t act immediately to spare the massacres and various atrocities that are going in Oromia, Benishangul Gumuz, Tigray etc. Please use R2P and other effective tools to stop the madness going on for so long in Ethiopia. Regretting the loss of human beings as in Rwanda will not bring be back lost precious lives. If no one who committed heinous crimes haven’t been brought to justice for the last 30 years by successive Ethiopian rulers, why do you expect anything different now?

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