Human Rights Watch called on the government of Ethiopia to address killings in Somali region, the eastern part of the country and in Oromo region of Ethiopia.
In a Dispatch published this week, Maria Burnett, Human Rights Watch Director for East Africa and the Horn of Africa, says “Insecurity is still a problem” in Ethiopia.
While noting the changes that the government of Abiy Ahmed brought about in Ethiopia in the past four months including the release of political prisoners she pointed out that ethnic and religious motivated killings in the regions mentioned above suggests “ongoing tensions in the country,” in the words of Maria Burnett.
The rights group believes that addressing investigating the killings with the aim to bring about perpetrates to justice is in the interest of prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s popular agenda for change.
- “Bringing perpetrators swiftly to justice is the only way to not only stem the violence, but also signal to Ethiopians that the country is changing for good,”
wrote HRW director for the region.
This past week, Ethiopians were shocked with barbaric killings in Shashemane, in Oromo region of Ethiopia about 254 kilometers South of the capital Addis Ababa. A young man was killed by mob leaders hanged upside down as crowd watch it happening for allegedly possessing hand grenade during Jawar Mohammed, Minnesota based radical ethnic Oromo activist, visit to the city. Police later reported that the victim was not in possession of hand grenade. Three other civilians were killed same day reportedly due to stampede, as the regional police claims.
In Jijiga, dozens of people were killed including seven priests and more than 10 churches (both Orthodox and protestant churches) were burned. People had to take refugee in churches and military barracks until government deploy defense force to the region to avert further killings by loyal Liyu forces of the former president of the region, Abdi Illey, and the Youth group he organized, Heego.
Prime minister Abiy Ahmed sent a stern warning today when he spoke during the graduation ceremony of high ranking military officers that lawlessness and mob justice will no longer be tolerated.
Regional governments Oromo and Somali region of Ethiopia claim that suspects in the killings of civilians are in custody and will be brought to justice.
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