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Ethiopian Human Rights Commission calls for in depth investigation against those involved in killings of civilians 

Ethiopian Human rights _ investigation
Rakeb Mesele, Deputy Chief Commissioner of Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. (Photo : screenshot from Walta interview/file)

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA (BORKENA) – The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has urged that a thorough investigation be conducted, and the culprits held accountable for the killings that occurred at Shelter camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in a bordering area between the Somali and Oromia Regions.

The Commission has also emphasized the need for lasting solutions to be provided to the victims of a clash between the security forces of Oromia and Somali Regions. 

According to the Kampala agreement, the government security forces should refrain from engaging in activities that could jeopardize the safety of the shelters where IDPs are located, the Commission stated.

EHRC expressed concern about the injuries sustained by IDPs who too refuge in the area, including local residents, during the exchange of fire between the security forces of Somali and Oromia in the border region of the two regions.

The Commission reported that it had conducted a visit to the area and engaged with hospital professionals, workers at the Koloji shelter camps, security forces of Oromia and Somali, and victims of the attack that occurred near Babilie on September 18, 2023. 

Although the conflict has currently ceased at this time, at least six IDPs were killed, and several individuals were wounded. The attack also resulted in loss of life and physical injuries to civilians residing in the vicinity, EHRC said.

Therefore, the Commission has called on the two regions to collaborate in finding a solution to the underlying issues that triggered the conflict in the area, ensuring the long-term safety of residents and displaced people. 

The Commission further emphasized the need for the two regions to work together to compensate the victims and investigate and hold accountable those responsible for causing harm to civilians. 

Deputy Chief Commissioner of EHRC, Rakeb Mesele said that the security forces of the government should have been very careful not to harm civilians during the conflict. Rakeb expressed concern about “the killing and injuries of the internally displaced people who  have led difficult lives in a shelter camp”.

Rakeb Mesele, Deputy Chief Commissioner of EHRC, expressed concern that government security forces should have exercised caution to prevent harm to civilians during the conflict. Rakeb highlighted that, “according to the Agreement of the African Union on the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Agreement), government security agencies should refrain from activities that may endanger the security of shelters where internally displaced persons are staying.”

Meanwhile, VoA Amharic Service reported that approximately 13,000 people have been living in challenging conditions at Koloji Shelter for the past seven years. They, those who have been evacuated from the shelter, expressed their need for relocation to other zones within the Somali Region. The Somali Regional State disclosed its plans to transform the Koloji Shelter Camp of IDPs into a town, according to VoA.


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