Memorialisation of TPLF-massacred Bahir Dar youth a year ago set off Sunday with single explosion

7 Aug

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
As part of the first anniversary of memorialisation of 50 unarmed youth protesters that were shot and killed in Bahir Dar on August 7, 2016 by TPLF regime security, Bahir Dar on Sunday evening witnessed an explosion honouring memories of the fallen, according to Yrgalem Ambachew’s Facebook.

The TPLF victims were marching in the town to demand respect for their human and civil rights.

Last week, Bahir Dar youth in secret distributed fliers and notice to public attention on social media, announcing finalisation of preparation to commemorate massacred comrades by exploding bomb in the very town at the weekend, as they indicated in their message, at a place and time of their choosing.

This planned commemoration of the fallen was already announced on August 4, 2017 on ESAT media.

And today, the explosion is said to set of the memorialisation, according to the Facebook, realising once again their pledge on this day.It is reported that there are no casualties.

The commemoration would continue Monday IN STAY HOME & PRAYERS! Appeals and warnings have been issued, urging people to honour memories of the victims by staying home.

Warning has also been issued against those that do not heed the appeal.

The killings by TPLF regime has captured international disapproval, calling for international investigation of the killings to hold the TPLF regime accountable.

The UN Human Rights High Commissioner has been seized with the situation in Ethiopia, although UN experts have been refused entry and visit to Ethiopia. the country is member of the UN Human Rights Council.

Following his visit to Ethiopia in May 2017, High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein promised “he would push Ethiopia to allow his agency to investigate rights abuses during months of unrest in 2015 and 2016 in which hundreds of people were killed.”

As the regime has been aware of the Bahir Dar preparations to honour the memories of TPLF regime victims, on Friday it proceeded to lifting the state of emergency that had enveloped the country for 300 days, or nine months and 27 days, in which people live in fears and worries about their security.

Interestingly, Ethiopians reaction to the lifting of the TPLF martial law has been laughed off. People understand it is intended to hoodwink the international community, since the TPLF has not liquidated the so-called command post that is still intact throughout the country in each of the nation’s zonal administrative regions.

On Facebook and Twitter, commentators chide the regime for resorting to such political and institutional deceits of foreign governments: (a) to ensure that tourists return to the country like before, and (b) to distract the international community that has been calling on the United Nations to investigate the 2015 and 2016 TPLF killings throughout the country and situation of human rights in Ethiopia.

The latest such call came from the EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. She reiterated EU’s call for the restrictions not undermine human rights.

Ms. Mogherini also “underlined the need for transparency and determined engagement by the government to respond to the grievances of the population.” She further noted the need for “opening up of the democratic space, and respect of fundamental freedoms.”

Furthermore, a US Congressional Committee at the end of July adopted resolution about similar concerns, though much detailed, regarding the human rights situation in Ethiopia, including the killings by the regime.

In greater detail, the US draft Congressional subcommittee demanded the following actions to be implemented by the TPLF regime:

    * lift the state of emergency;

    * end the use of excessive force by security forces;

    * investigate the killings and excessive use of force that took place as a result of protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions;

    * release dissidents, activists, and journalists who have been imprisoned for exercising constitutional rights;

    * respect the right to peaceful assembly and guarantee freedom of the press;

    * engage in open consultations with citizens regarding its development strategy;

    * allow a United Nations rapporteur to conduct an independent examination of the state of human rights in Ethiopia;

    * address the grievances brought forward by representatives of registered opposition parties;

    * hold accountable those responsible for killing, torturing and detaining innocent civilians who exercised their constitutional rights; and

    * investigate and report on the circumstances surrounding the September 3, 2016, shootings and fire at Qilinto Prison, the deaths of persons in attendance at the annual Irreecha festivities at Lake Hora near Bishoftu on October 2, 2016, and the ongoing killings of civilians over several years in the Somali Regional State by police.

While the regime keeps on promising reforms, nothing is in the works yet, not even the actual lifting of the state of emergency, whose end is only theoretical.

My own view is that, even if the martial law is abolished its impact is negligence, since there is no legal restraint on government and accountability in Ethiopia. That in the fist place is the reason why the TPLF has become gun-totting, torture-practicing and hater of due process of the law and transparency.

Incidentally, Bahir Dar has uniquely experienced repeated explosions more than any other Ethiopian towns since the onset of the #AmharaProtest in 2016.

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