Arrested Oromo regional state officials are said to have involvement during the massacre on non-Oromos in early July 2020
August 11, 2020
About 1700 zone and district level government officials are reported arrested in connection with the massacre in the Oromo region of Ethiopia in early July which claimed the lives of over 240 people. Heads of Kebele administrations are also arrested.
1200 of the arrests are said to be heads of administrations in towns and districts while 500 are said to be public servants in the region.
The region’s Communications Affairs Bureau said in a statement, as reported by Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC), they are arrested for failure to discharge their government responsibility.
The statement also indicated that some officials have played a part during the violence which affected dozens of towns in the region. However, their involvement is unspecified. Reports in the past, covered by borkena, indicated that some security officials went so far as lending their guns to the attackers.
Over the weekend, Prosperity Party Oromo Region Branch announced that it had terminated Lemma Megersa, Teyba Hassen, and Milkessa Midega from executive committee membership “on a temporary basis.” Lemma Megersa was one of the key leaders of the reform movement that ushered into a post-Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) political era in Ethiopia.
Public Relations head of the party in the region, Taye Tendea, indicated, in an interview with the ESAT television, that there could be individuals who could be facing legal action due to their involvement in the massacre. Rumors on social media indicate that Teyba Hassen, former Mayor of Shashemene and vice-president of Oromo regional state, was involved in the massacre and destruction of property in Shashemene.
Apart from the killing of over 240 people, which are said to be mostly non-Oromo although the administration in the region downplayed it as incorrect information, thousands of businesses and residential houses were burned. Several dozens of cars burned. Health centers and schools attacked and public properties, estimated to be worth millions of birr, were destroyed in cities like Shashemene, Batu, Arsi Negele, and even the capital Addis Ababa.
From Security forces investigation into the massacre, the mob that was roving in towns and going on a house to house killing rampage had lists of people to be attacked (either non-Oromo or the followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church if they happened to be ethnic Oromo).
The killing was carried out under the guise of protesting the assassination of Hachalu Hundesa on June 29, 2020, in the capital Addis Ababa.
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