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Defense Force denies killings of civilians in Gonder

Gen. Berhanu Jula says that the Defense Force was in the business of defending itself from armed group in Gonder and no civilians are killed.

Defense_ Berhanu
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Defense Force (ENA)

January 11,2019

Deputy Chief of staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force, Gen. Berhanu Jula, denies that news regarding killings of civilians in Gonder is “wrong and unverified.”

He said so during a press conference earlier today in the capital Addis Ababa.

The incident the involved loss of human live in West Gonder happened, he said, when members of the Defense Force were escorting trucks carrying about 30 machinery that belong to Sur Construction which was undertaking construction project in the region.

“When the trucks arrive in a place called Shedi, residents, due to the concern and complaints they have about company, demanded that the loads be searched. Members of the Defense Force who were escorting the trucks accepted the demand and the trucks were stopped,” Deputy Chef of Staff added.

As members of the Defense Force were trying to consulting with the locals, claims Berhanu Jula, gunmen who are lurking in the hills around opened fire and two members of the Defense Force were wounded.

“The Defense Force operates with a high standard of discipline and will never open fire on peaceful and civilians who can not defend themselves. A decision is passed to investigate the matter with great attention,” Berhanu defends the institution he is leading.

Many Ethiopian did not criticize the Defense Force entirely. However, there is strong skepticism regarding those who were involved in the killings.

Unlike the claim by Gen. Berhanu Jula, reports published by Ethiopian media outlets ( state media did not report about it adequately, to say the least) indicate that children were among the victims and members of a family is reportedly killed while they are in their house.

Amhara regional state president, Gedu Andargachew had a press conference yesterday, and the position of his administration is that the killings in Gende Wuha and Kokit in Western Gonder is “irresponsible” , and that the regional government wants the body involved in the killing to take responsibility for it.

The regional state security chief seems to have a similar sentiment, as reported by borkena yesterday.

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