The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), having repeatedly called on both the Federal and regional governments to curb kidnappings and attacks, particularly in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, has expressed deep concern over the deteriorating situation and the resulting human rights violations.
In a statement released on Wednesday, EHRCO emphasized that the Ethiopian government has fallen short in safeguarding the security of its citizens. Tragically, this has led to instances where citizens are denied their basic right to life, and subjected to physical harm, inhuman torture, and degrading treatment while in captivity.
Moreover, the EHRCO statement underscored the fear that has gripped Ethiopian residents across various regions of the country due to the escalating security concerns, which have also hindered their freedom of movement for economic and other purposes. As a result, citizens are now living in constant fear.
EHRCO reports that kidnappings persist in areas plagued by recurring incidents, primarily because the government has yet to effectively address this issue. These kidnappings have exacted a heavy toll in terms of lives lost, with many districts in the East Shoa and North Shoa areas of the Oromo region becoming notorious hotspots for such crimes.
Furthermore, EHRCO has gathered credible evidence suggesting that foreign nationals have fallen victim to kidnappings in the Oromia region. In light of the legal provisions outlined in the Ethiopian Constitution regarding kidnappings, EHRC is urging the Federal government to enact legislation that holds those responsible for these crimes accountable.
EHRC is also calling upon the authorities in the Oromia region to condemn these kidnappings and human rights violations and to pursue legal action against those responsible. The statement further urges the Oromia regional government to take decisive action to end kidnappings in North Shoa and East Shoa.
Lastly, EHRCO insists that both the Federal and Oromia regional security forces must step up their efforts to provide effective security measures for the citizens, thereby relieving them of the burden of living in perpetual fear.
In one of the latest kidnappings this month, eleven researchers from the Agricultural Research Institute were kidnapped during a work related trip in the Oromia region. In late September, six Ethiopian Electric power workers were kidnapped and the kidnappers demanded over 60 million birr in ransom.
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