Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) warns ethnic conflicts in Kamashi zone of Benshangul region and Sheka zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region could get out of control unless Ethiopian government acts on it to stop it.
Speaking yesterday from Hawassa, where there was the ruling party’s 11th congress for the last three days, Addisu Gebregziabhier, EHRC Commissioner, said the level of rights abuse and conflicts in those areas are worrisome, as cited by Fana Broadcasting Corporation.
Specifically, the situation in five districts of Kamashi zone in Benshangul Gumuz region is gruesome. The rights of Ethiopians to move freely, live, create wealth and own property is compromised, according EHRC.
Even more worrisome, apparently, is the pattern of behavior on the part of law enforcement bodies in the conflict area. “Law enforcement units are not taking appropriate measure to stop the violence,” EHRC investigators who are deployed to the region, and they say that the situation is not allowing them to carry out their mission, are cited as saying.
For that reason, says EHRC, it has become difficult to verify the number of deaths and displaced people which indicate how serious the situation is in those areas, as the rights group says.
Additional evidence that seems to confirm about the colossal magnitude of the problem is that government has deployed members of the defense force in some parts of the above mentioned areas.
EHRC claims that it has already submitted to the government research-based findings useful to mitigate conflict before they happen and/or solve them durably when they happen. But it is not clear if government is consdering the recommendations.
As well, opposition parties are calling for the federal government to act decisively to stop ethnic-based violence and defend the rights of Ethiopians to live and work anywhere in Ethiopia.
Wasihun Tesafye represented 18 national opposition groups in the country and made a speech during the opening ceremony of the 11th Congress of EPRDF which concluded today. What he asked the ruling party, among other things, is to pass decision to enforce the rule of law in the country so as to curb lawlessness and stop displacement of citizens from different parts of the country.
Now that the dust is somewhat settled as far as struggle from within the party is concerned, Ethiopians want the government to act like one and stop manufactured ethnic-based violence.
In fact, Ethiopians are also waiting for concrete answers from the government as to how mass displacement is happening in the country and who is behind them.
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