Deputy police commissioner of Oromo region also said that some of the victims, of what radical ethnic Oromo activists call “Oromo revolution,” were beheaded
July 16, 2020
Girma Gelan is Deputy Police Commissioner of Oromo Regional state. In an interview with Ethiopian Satellite Television on Wednesday, he revealed the nature of mass killings in the region which happened in the days following the assassination of Hachalu Hundessa.
Among the questions he faced during the interview was that the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) accuse the government of arresting their members for political reasons. He answered the question with a question: “how can someone be arrested because of his political views?”, and then he said that the arrests are 100 percent from political arrest.
He had to reveal details to demonstrate that the arrest is entirely related to criminal activity. Whoever involved in criminal activity will be arrested, he said. For him, the number of people arrested so far (it is said to be over 4000) is not high given the magnitude of the loss of life and destruction of property. In the East Arsi zone, the killing was based on religion. “Thirty-five people were killed. Twenty-two of them were Oromos from Shoa and they were killed because they are Christians (Orthodox),” he said. The remaining 13 are ethnic Amhara and from Southern Ethiopia.
He told ESAT that some of the people were beheaded. No one is arrested because of his political views and we will continue to arrest all those who were involved in the attack, he said.
In some places, the attack was an ethnic-based one. So far, the government has confirmed that at least 181 people were killed in the Oromo region following the news of Hasahu’s killing. Other sources, however, indicate that at least 240 people were massacred in a horrifying manner and about 300 people wounded. In Arsi, at least 934 businesses were blazed.
Several radical Ismalists and ethnic Oromo nationalists living the Diaspora were making video messages calling for the massacre of “neftegna,” (it means ethnic Amhara in their politicized usage coined to frame them for attack), and those messages were shared on social media. Ethiopians are organizing an online campaign to hold those them accountable by bringing the matter to respective jurisdictions.
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