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HomeEthiopian NewsKoree Nageenyaa - secret gov't body -behind executions in Oromia : report

Koree Nageenyaa – secret gov’t body -behind executions in Oromia : report

Koree Nageenyaa - Oromia _ Ethiopian News
Abiy Ahmed and his man in Oroima region (Photo : file/SM)

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A report by Reuters, published on Friday, says an investigation it undertook revealed that  there exists “A secretive committee of senior officials in Ethiopia’s largest and most populous region, Oromiya, has ordered extra-judicial killings and illegal detentions to crush an insurgency there” 

It identified the secretive body as “Koree Nageenyaa” and indicated that it has been operational since a few months after Abiy Ahmed took power as Prime Minister. 

The sources added that “Koree Nageenyaa meets in the Oromiya regional offices of Abiy’s Prosperity Party and is headed by Abiy’s former chief of staff, Shimelis Abdisa, the president of Oromiya region. Shimelis and other committee members are ethnic Oromo. Fekadu Tessema, leader of the Prosperity Party in Oromiya, sits on the committee, as does Ararsa Merdasa, head of security for Oromiya, and half a dozen other local political and security officials, the sources said. None of these people responded to questions from Reuters.” 

How did Reuters establish that? It said it “interviewed more than 30 federal and local officials, judges, lawyers and victims of abuses by authorities.”

Furthermore, it spoke to individuals who are said to be familiar with the works of  Koree Nageenyaa in the region – some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.  The secretive body is linked to dozens of killings and arrests in the region.

Reuters also cited Milkessa Gemechu, the former member of the Prosperity Party’s central committee, to report that he was aware of Koree Nageenyaa since March 2019. He learned about it during a meeting :

He is cited as saying “There Shimelis, newly appointed as president of Oromiya, announced that the Koree Nageenyaa “would direct operations against enemy elements and enemy cells,” said Milkessa.” However, the source indicated that it did not independently verified Milkessa Gemechu’s account of it.

The source indicated that Ethiopian government authorities including Shimeles Abdissa declined to respond to inquiries.

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission on Friday announced that 94 individuals have been executed by government forces in the past few years. 

Apart from killings of individuals linked to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), also known as Shane, there have been tens of thousands of killings in the Oromia region mostly targeting civilian ethnic Amhara communities in rural areas. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Shimeles Abdissa’s administration have been linking the massacres to OLF-Shane (OLA). 

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