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Wolayta Committee for Human Rights statement

August 11, 2020

WCHR condemns the latest massacre of Wolayta people by the Ethiopian Government. At least 21 Wolaytas have been shot dead by the federal forces while  dozens were injured. WCHR urgently asks for a deescalation by the federal security who are using disproportionately force to stop a legitimate and constitutional demand by the people and zonal administration.

The protests by Wolayta youth were relatively peaceful with no major property damage and zero attacks on non-Wolayta minority. Any further escalation will change the above dynamic because people are frustrated, not only due to the delayed statehood quest but also as they sense deep lack of respect of Wolayta people displayed by the Oromo/federal government’s uneven reaction. 

Wolayta people are under siege for all directions. Just two years ago, innocent Wolaytas were massacred by Sidama youth in Hawassa and other towns; quickly followed by killings of Wolayta by Oromo youth in Burayu. The Oromo/federal security never took proportional measures to avert nor cease these mass killings of Wolayta. 

In contrast, Abiy Ahmed’s premeditated brutal military reaction to peaceful Wolayta protests is viewed as a disdain and an insult to Wolayta nation. WCHR asks Wolayta people to continue nonviolent struggle, continue protecting minorities and ignore the instigation by non-Wolayta politicians. WCHR asks international rights groups to categorically condemn these unprovoked and savage killings of Wolaytas by the Oromo/federal forces.

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