U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner contemplates investigations into killings in Amhara and Oromiya; those “peacefully protesting should be released promptly”

10 Aug

Editor’s Note:


    Civilized international conduct demands that the weekend massacres in Ethiopian should be taken seriously. Long before this latest one, there have been voices calling for an investigation into killings by the state and torture in Ethiopia. These were not heeded, because of which several scores of Ethiopians have been killed for expressing their dissatisfaction with the situation in the country.

    By the signs of it, war crimes have been committed, before as well as now during this past weekend. There is no other name for an act by a TPLF commander shooting a federal police officer because he refused to shoot on unarmed protesters, standing peacefully and chanting, not even throwing rocks.

    Else where a soldier stopped to help a falling aged woman. His TPLF commander executed him considering his act collaboration with the enemy. These are only the tips of the TPLF’s iceberg of war crimes, which have made it to the attention of the social media pages. Put briefly, Ethiopians have witnessed a lot of TPLF horror for a single weekend.

    If no justice is served, the way forward for the country is not likely to be peaceful and tolerant without appropriate international investigations. There is no credibility in the regime that has been stealing elections. In May 2015, it won by landslide and 100 percent of the parliamentary seats. Those killed and tortured during the election have nowhere to turn to for justice.

    As usual, the regime keeps on ranting still; it has been falsely accusing the protesters of being terrorists and foreign agents. This can no longer take it anywhere and anymore, since the terrorist the regime itself, whose actions have now become a topic of discussion in different countries!

    Picture from the Slave Trade Era in 17th century?  Wrong! This is Ethiopia under the TPLF!

    Picture from the Slave Trade Era in 17th century? Wrong! This is Ethiopia under the TPLF today. South Omo Ethiopians suspected of hostile attitude toward the regime’s land grab policy being carted away to prison!

    The TPLF ethnic minority regime has failed to use all opportunities it had through this quarter century. The massacre world witnessed since 2014 in Ethiopia has been the work of an intoxicated group by the arrogance of power. This far, it has been encouraged with a false invulnerability its bankrollers have imbued it with, when they should have known better!

    They too must see that nobody is more powerful than a determined people’s courage and strength to be free with its struggle, despite the costs in life being immense!

 

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Stephaniie Nebehay, Reuters
The U.N. human rights chief urged Ethiopia on Wednesday to allow international observers into restive regions where residents and opposition officials say 90 protesters were shot dead by security forces at the weekend.

In his first comments on the incident, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that allegations of excessive use of force across the Oromiya and Amhara regions must be investigated and that his office was in discussions with Ethiopian authorities.

Since January, when he said the killings of protesters first began, his office had “not seen seen any genuine attempt at investigation and accountability”.

“The use of live ammunition against protesters in Oromiya and Amhara, the towns there of course would be a very serious concern for us,” Zeid told Reuters in an interview in Geneva.

Unrest flared in Oromiya for several months until early this year over plans to allocate farmland surrounding the regional capital for development. Authorities in the Horn of Africa state scrapped the scheme in January, but protests flared again over the continued detention of opposition demonstrators.

At the weekend, protesters chanted anti-government slogans and waved dissident flags. Some demanded the release of jailed opposition politicians. Information on the reported killings has been difficult to obtain, Zeid said.

“So I do urge the government to allow access for international observers into the Amhara and Oromiya regions so that we can establish what has happened and that the security forces, if it is the case that they have been using excessive force, that they do not do so and promptly investigate of course these allegations.”

Zeid said that any detainee who had been peacefully protesting should be released promptly.

The state-run Ethiopian News Agency said on Monday that “illegal protests” by “anti-peace forces” had been brought under control. It did not mention casualties.

As in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which Zeid visited last month, it is vital that security forces employ non-lethal means during peaceful protests, he said.
 

Related:

    Human Rights Watch: Independent Inquiry Needed

    AI: Regime’s excessive use of force must be investigated by neutral body

 

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