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HomeEthiopian NewsInvestigation into Politician's Murder Halted; U.S. Urges Full Completion

Investigation into Politician’s Murder Halted; U.S. Urges Full Completion

Ethiopia Investigation _ Bate Urgessa
Bate Urgessa (Photo : SM)

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Toronto – The investigation into the  killing of Bate Urgessa – a senior political officer of the ethnic Oromo Nationalist party, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), is reportedly halted. Government intimidation seems to be the reason behind it.

According to local news sources, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), was unable, it was said,  to carry on the investigation as individuals with information about the tragic incident, which happened in early April this year,  disappeared. 

There are sources with links to Ethiopia that make claims that seven individuals with valuable information into what appears to be a politically motivated murder were eliminated.  

The U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia,  Ervin Massinga, this week issued a statement calling for the completion of the investigation. 

“The EHRC should not face obstacles in completing its investigation into the reported murder of Bate Urgessa. The U.S. reiterates its support for a complete and unimpeded investigation,” the Ambassador said in a message shared on X (formerly Twitter) page. 

The Ethiopian Political Parties Council is also calling for the need for a credible and transparent investigation. VOA Amharic cited Desta Dinka, Ethiopian Political Parties Council Chairperson and Secretary of Ethiopian Federal Democratic Union Forum Secretary as saying that the council is closely following the investigation but  no clarification was given as to where the investigation is right now.  The Council is advancing the view that the investigation of Bate Urgessa’s killing is crucially important for Ethiopians who are taking part in peaceful political struggle. 

The Oromo Liberation Front is urging the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to release the information it has gathered so far. 

What is known so far

Bate Urgessa was reportedly taken from a hotel where he was staying in Meki, also his hometown. He was being beaten when he was taken and that it was security forces in uniform who took him. The hotel guard disappeared right after the incident. Other relevant individuals who reportedly witnessed the murder,  the immediate situation before or after the incident have disappeared. 

In February 2024, Reuters published a report about a secret government killing squad group operating in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Koree Nageenyaa, the killing squad that operates in the region, is said to be under the direct control of top government officials including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. 

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