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Somali region security forces used excessive forces in Gursum: EHRC

Daniel Bekele , EHRC commissioner


The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on Thursday released a report of an investigation into an incident that claimed 11 lives in Bombas town of Gursum district in the Somali region of Ethiopia. 

The incident happened on March 20 and 21 of this year when security forces clashed with residents who were gathered to elect traditional clan leaders, as in the traditions of the Somali community. 

EHRC said that it has established from its investigation that 33 other people were wounded ( serious and minor injuries). 

Another key finding from the investigation is that regional security forces have used excessive forces against civilians who were unarmed. 

Eyewitnesses, families of victims, traditional elders, and victims of security forces attack who sustained a long-term disability were contacted in the course of the investigation, based on the report that EHRC released. 

The investigative team has seen one mass grave and another grave where a woman who was killed during the second day of the security forces’ attack was killed. 

While Commissioner Daniel Bekele commended that the regional state paid compensation for victims of the attack, he emphasised the importance of ensuring accountability for the crime for the sake of avoiding similar violations of rights. EHRCO recommended that a criminal investigation be launched as quickly as possible. 


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