Ethiopian gov’t slammed over the inability to protect human rights, and for worsening violence in the Konso area of South Ethiopia which is impacted by gunmen from Guji Oromo area
The Ethiopian Human Rights Council on Wednesday released a statement criticising the government for failing to protect human rights amid prevalent ethnic violence.
The statement came days after news of deadly ethnic-based violence left five people dead and wounded 15 others in Chiri district of Sidama which is adjacent to parts of the Oromo region of Ethiopia.
EHRC confirmed, citing information it received from the area, that unidentified gunmen killed an elderly man from Sidama in Halala kebele of Chiri district. The incident led to an escalation of violence affecting neighbouring kebeles in the Oromo region of Ethiopia. It was said that several houses were burned in addition to the loss of lives.
Furthermore, the EHRCO report indicated that ethnic Sidamas living in the areas affected by the violence were displaced.
Residents who live in the area told EHRCO, as indicated in the report, that the perpetrators of the attack that left the elderly man from Sidama dead are gunmen who operate in the area. However, the motives for killing the senior man are unspecified.
EHRCO said it will launch an extensive investigation into the whole incident that claimed five lives and burned a village – and perhaps an answer will emerge as to why gunmen from the Oromo region, from what the government has been saying it is OLF -Shane that operates in many parts of the region, targeted the victim.
Killings in Konso area of South Ethiopia
In a related development, EHRCO said that the killings of innocent civilians are worsening in the Konso region of South Ethiopia. A day after the incident in the Chiri along Sidama and Arsi area of the Oromo region, three residents in the Amaro district of the region were killed.
The Rights group said that information collected from residents in the area indicated that the gunmen who killed three residents in a horrifying manner originated from Guji area of the Oromo regional state.
The statement from EHRCO highlighted that a repeated call was extended to the Federal government to control the situation in the region before it worsens.
Calls for Action
EHRCO talked about the need to resolve the problem that affected the neighbouring areas of Sidama and Oromia before it is further escalating. It sees a role for traditional elders and religious leaders from both sides as well as from the regional governments.
With regard to the tension in Konso, EHRCO said the matter is not getting the attention it deserves and called on the federal government to act to reverse rights abuse and protect human rights.
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