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Oromo regional state rejects Command Post explanation of Moyale massacre

Oromo regional state seems to think that the massacre in Moyale constitutes a war crime
The region wants to see those responsible, including commanders who ordered it, appear before the court.

March 13, 2018

In an interview with DW Amharic, Oromo Regional state justice office communication sector head, Taye Dendaa, says that the statement issued by the Command Post regarding the massacre in Moyale is absolutely unacceptable.

A few days ago, the Command Post claimed that the Moyale was committed “mistakenly.” how so? The body says, members of the defense forces who unleashed the massacre had a wrong information. No explanation whatsoever as to who gave the “wrong information.” But those who committed the massacre are allegedly in custody.

Let. General Hassan Ibrahim, who served as part of United Nations peacekeeping force in Africa in the past, and currently spokesperson of the Command Post, appeared on state television, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, to admit that 9 people were killed and 12 wounded massacred due to a “mistake” committed by the defense force deployed in Moyale town on Saturday.

He added that the contingent was dispatched to intercept Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) rebel forces who were “entering the town in three directions from Moyale Kenya”, something residents of Moyale town including the Mayor reject vehemently.

“There is no chance for the massacre to be by mistake and we have an evidence,” Taye Dendaa told DW Amharic. “To say that the massacre happened by mistake,” he added ” is an insult to the people.

Some of the victims, according to Taye, were ordered to kneel down at the point of combat gun before they were shot to death, says Taye. Other victims were in killed in their workplaces.

Ato Taye went to the extent of claiming that “War crime is committed in Moyale.” Of course, he is reflecting the position of Oromo regional state. However, to say that the war constitutes a war crime might sound as if there was a state of war that involved two warring entities. Moyale massacre rather sounds worse than a war crime. One of the victims was a 34 years old school principal whom his friends described as diligent.

The regional states want to see not only those who committed the massacre but also the military officers and members of the Command Post who ordered the killing be brought to justice.

Thousands of residents of Moyale town fled to Kenya, as confirmed by Red Cross Kenya and Voice of America Amharic service, following the massacre on last Saturday on grounds that they do not feel safe in thier own country, Ethiopia.

Top officials of the regional state including party chairman and president of the region are attending a meeting of an Executive Committee of the ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), and the Moyale massacre, it is extrapolated, could make the meeting tenser.

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