How Long the International Community Should Entreat the Rejection of an Independent Investigation into Human Rights Abuses in Ethiopia

Ethiopia: War Crimes Against the Oromo Nation in EthiopiaETHIOPIA:  How Long  the International Community Should  Entreat  the Rejection of an Independent Investigation into Human Rights Abuses in Ethiopia

HRLHA Press Release

The international  community finally realized that the Ethiopian government was using democracy as a facade to dehumanize its citizens. Since 1991, the current  government  of Ethiopia has come to power, six international treaties have been signed and ratified by the  government, including the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment at which the Ethiopian government security mostly accused more  than any  dictator country in the world.

This means  from a total of thirteen  international treaties Ethiopia has ratified eight,  out of which two have been signed during  the  Military government era.

It has not been easy for the international community to accept that a country such as Ethiopia who signed and ratified a number of international human rights treaties  has a moral to breach the norms of each treaty and commits a massacre against its citizen.

The ingenuity of the Ethiopian government has become known to the international community very lately, beginning from 2010 of massive land grabs  related human rights violations in Gambela, Oromia, Benshangule and other reports by human rights organizations such HRW, AI and HRLHA and the OAKLAND Instite. Thanks to the outcry of the national, regional, and international human rights organizations hard work to expose the hidden agenda of the Ethiopian government.

Though, Ethiopia’s human rights violations  reports spread all over, Ethiopia  was elected as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011 for a  three year term.  After the  completion of the first three year term, it has been also  reelected on October 28, 2015 for another  three year term.

To be legible for the election the candidate States’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights are considered.

The current  Ethiopian government  began destabilizing the nations and nationalities in the country as it seized power in 1991. The two biggest nations, the Oromo and the Amhara nations  were  the most targeted. Over the course of  the first twenty three years (1991-2014), hundreds of thousands of prominent citizens, political party leaders,  members and supporters, journalists, union leaders and  members have been killed, forced to disappear, imprisoned and forced to exile. The undisclosed tragedy in the country for so long years has become started to attract the international attention only in March 2014 when the university Oromo students protested against the “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan”  which continually took place for over four months at which  Oromos of all walks of life have participated. During the crackdowns on the protests over 81 Oromos of age 7-81 have been brutally murdered by Ethiopian government murderers. The So called Addis Ababa Master Plan” was designed to annex 36 Oromo towns evicting an estimated of over three million Oromo farmers without consultation and compensation. The ” Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” dispute reignite  in November 2015 Oromia Regional State wide continuously over a year until  October 2, 2016 the incident which has changed the peaceful protest to violent. During the protests which had taken place in one year (November 2015 – October 2016) in Oromia Regional State  over 2000 Oromos have been killed by the Ethiopian government killing squad Agazi force.

October 2, 2016 was the Oromo Irecha/thanksgiving day in which over four million Oromos have come to gather from all corners of the Oromia Regional State to celebrate at Bishoftu where the government killing squad Agazi  massacred peaceful people at which over 670 people killed at stampede and gun shot from the ground supported by air attack. October 2, 2016  was the game changer in the Oromo struggle history of self – determination, democracy and justice.  The peaceful protest was changed into violent all over the Oromia Regional State. Several government owned and government linked properties have been destroyed.

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Dessalegn gave a permission to its killers deployed all over the Oromia Regional State to take all necessary actions against the uprises and several Oromos have been killed, imprisoned and forcefully disappeared. To calm down the violent actions in the region the government of Ethiopia declared a State of Emergency on October 8, 2016. After the State of Emergency declared many  expected  the situation could improve.  However, the government killing squads deployed deep into Oromia villages used the opportunity to kill more Oromos at their  home, at their neighborhood during the day and night times, raped women and girls in front of their family, looting valuable properties.

For example,  (1). Hailu  Ephrem , the sixteen- year old boy and Ibsa Runde, seventeen year old boy have been killed ,  simply in their daily routine like any other playing in their area.They have been killed  for no apparent reason except the psychopathic killing machines called Agazi have to kill Oromos to satisfy their masters order. The mother of Hailu Ephrem, Mrs Tadelu Tamama, a mother from Dembidolo, Welega (Oromia region of Ethiopia) told VOA Afaan Oromo  service radio “After the soldiers shot and killed my son in front of me  “They told me to sit down on my dead son’s body”..

(2) As a  group exterminations  on  November 6, 2016 at 5:00 am, three brothers- Marabu Jamalo, Abdissa Jamalo and Tola Jamalo- have been shot dead  by the TPLF killing squad Agazi force  in their home in Easter Arsi  Zone in Shirka district. Their father Mr. Jamalo Hussein said “my children have been killed by the fascist government killing squad, Agazi, not because they stole or did  anything wrong,  but only because they are  Oromos” told to HRLHA reporter in the area.

Such crimes are widespread all over Oromia and Amhara regional states, especially at night, and are being perpetrated on an ever-increasing scale and as part of the State of Emergency policy. There is also  evidence of the government targeting special groups such as youth, educated citizens and journalists in thos regions.

With such criminal records for over two decades,  Ethiopia has elected to the other UN  subsidiary  organization,  UN Security council on June 28, 2016. This was a period when the Ethiopian government has massacred several Oromos simply because they expressed their grievances in peaceful protest.

Regarding this unfair election the HRLHA expressed its concerns to the President of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft in its press release  ” THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE REWARDED FOR MASSACRING ITS PEOPLE”.

Ethiopia, a country with high human rights violation records has been allowed to be elected  to both the United Nations Human Rights Council, and United Nations Security Council positions, the positions which requires respect/protect and promote human rights at global level,  and maintain international peace and security,  develop friendly relations among nations and  cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights.

In the past two years non – governmental organizations, government agencies and some government offices requested the Ethiopian government to allow access to independent investigations to assess the human rights violations in the country.The international boby investigation request for Ethiopian government was from the following agenies

# Agencies Date
 1 European Parliament resolution on Ethiopia  (2016/2520(RSP) 19.1.2016
 2 UN experts call for international commission to help investigate systematic violence against GENEVA (10 October 2016)
 3 UN rights office urges Ethiopia to ensure independent probe of reported violations in Oromia region 19 August 2016
 4 Press Statement of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Human Rights Situation in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Date: 02 September 2016

However, the Ethiopian government has rejected the call of international communities for independent investigation into Ethiopia human rights crises in the past two years

The  Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES), who visited Ethiopia recently also  released a  statement calling for an independent investigation  into  2 October 2016 killings that claimed  the lives of at least 52 people, according to the government, media, over 700 people according to HRLHA other  reports.

However, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn again rejected the call for external investigations by saying  “Ethiopia’s sovereignty should be respected” according the BBC report  on April 18, 2016.

PM Hailemariam pointed out that the Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission is an independent institution in the country with whom his government must relay and could be strengthened. He  clearly underlined his government’s  position for peace, democracy and fundamental rights of the Ethiopians. In his interview with BBC the PM of Ethiopia said “Ethiopia does not need independent investigator as far as Ethiopia is an independent country”.   The government of Ethiopia is committed to continue suppressing all kinds of freedom and democracy in the country. It is unfortunate that the Ethiopians could not detach themselves from dictatorial regimes for over a century, ”  “History repeats itself,” again and again.

Therefore, the HRLHA would like to call upon donor governments and international government agencies to take all necessary  and decisive measures against the Ethiopian government  to respect international human rights and humanitarian laws.