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Mass graves with 200 human remains uncovered, says police

Somali region new president,Mustafa Mohammed Omar, confirmed that there are “several” mass graves in the region

Mass Grave _ Somali region
Google Map of South East Ethiopia

November 9,2018

Ethiopian police says that it uncovered mass grave in Somali regional state adjoining Oromo regional state. It was during a court hearing of Ethiopia- Somali region former president, Abdi Illey, yesterday that police disclosed it, according to a report by Fana Broadcasting Corporation.

Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) cited the new president of Somali regional state, Mustafa Mohammed Omar, as saying that “several mass graves” were under investigation, thereby confirming the mass graves.

Police requested 14 more days to complete investigation of the region’s former president and four other people as it claims that it is identifying witnesses who could testify that the mass killing happened. The requested time is also meant for police to conduct forensic investigation on the remains.

As well, police said that it is collecting evidence from 37 people from the region who have been victims and the court has granted the requested time.

The mass killings are believed to have been carried out by the region’s special force which is known as Leyu police. As well, Heego, radicalized ethnic Somali youth groups organized and funded the the regional administration reportedly took part in the massacre of civilians.

Weeks before the arrest of Abdi Illey and some of his colleges after the regional parliament lifted immunity of some members of the regional cabinet and Abdi himself, the region’s police carried out ethnic based killings targeting ethnic Amhara and ethnic Oromo leading to the death of dozens of people in Jijiga and other towns in the region. More than seven churches were burned, and thousands of people were displaced.

The region has been a conflict zone and unsafe for for well over a week. In September of 2017, more than half a million people were displaced, according to Oromo regional state officials, following ethnic tension due to what authorities call “border dispute” between Somali and Oromo regional states.

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