Ethiopian Human Rights Commission urges authorities in Benishangul Gumuz region to investigate recurring incidents of mass killings
September 18, 2020
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC)on Thursday called on impartial investigations into the circumstances that led to the massacre of civilians and the displacement of tens of thousands of residents sometime last week.
The statement said that EHRC has received “disturbing” reports from Bulen and Wonbera districts of Metekel Zone of the Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia, and that it is “deeply concerned by security events unfolding in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz Region,” said the statement from the commission.”
Furthermore, the statement said that EHRC has confirmed from Benishangul Gumuz regional authorities that there were two isolated incidents of violence on September 6 and between September 7 to September 13.
It is also indicated that the regional government confirmed that there were killings of civilians and tens of hundreds of residents had been displaced from the regions mentioned above. However, the number of people killed is still unspecified by government authorities. Other reports from concerned organizations indicate that at least 89 people (mainly ethnic Amhara and Agaw) were massacred by Gumuz region militias which the EHRC did not mention in its report.
The Federal Police and the National Defense Force had been deployed to the areas to restore stability and hundreds of civilians displaced from their homes are now returned, according to the EHRC report.
It is also noted that incidents like these had been recurring in the region and EHRC urged the regional authorities to launch an impartial investigation into the killings and hold accountable those who are responsible for it.
EHRC also “encouraged political groups and other stakeholders in the region to engage in constructive dialogue, and to refrain from any form of incitement and acts of violence.”
Ethiopian activists and politicians have been expressing outrage against prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration for failing to protect citizen’s right to life and security.
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