Survivors from latest Wollega attack reportedly told Ethiopian opposition party that they received threats and warnings before the massacre to abandon their homes and leave the area
As the massacre of ethnic Amharas continues in the Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz regions of Ethiopia, opposition parties are officially demanding action from the government to defend the rights of Ethiopians to live and work anywhere in the country as guaranteed by the Ethiopian constitution.
Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice on Friday released a statement regarding the Babo Genbel district massacre in the Wollega region. The party said that it has established from survivors that district and Kebele authorities were threatening and warning residents to abandon their homes and leave the area just days before the massacre happened.
“That is an indication that the attack was planned and authorities who are in charge of security in the area had a role in it. The fact that the recurring inhuman criminal act has been happening in a known and specific area suggests that the regional [Oromia] and the Federal government did not give the security problem the attention it deserves,” said the statement by Ethiopian Citizens For Social Justice (EZEMA).
At least 28 people were killed, several others wounded and thousands of people displaced from the Wollega region following the latest round of massacre against ethnic Amhara innocent civilians. Children and women were among the victims.
The statement from EZEMA added that recurring identity-based attacks created instability in the country and impacted citizens from leading their day-to-day life without fear.
“By undertaking these massacres, those within the government and against the government seek to impede the way to true democracy in our country. At worst, they intend to drag the country into unending civil war,” it was said.
In the eyes of EZEMA, these forces will not hesitate to continue to unleash coordinated attacks that could trigger civil war. “They will not hesitate to do anything to achieve their political objectives,” said EZEMA.
The party called for the government to investigate government structure in areas where there was massacre and take action to ensure accountability against those who were involved.
It also called for government to compensate survivors and help them restart their life. Another recommendation to government by EZEMA party is to identify areas that experienced recurring massacres and put them under Federal government security forces , and deal with perpetrators of the attack decisively.
Apart from deploying federal security forces to those areas, EZEMA recommended the formation of community-based peace and security forces, train and arm them to defend themselves.
Balderas for True Democracy, another opposition party that is fighting for the rights of residents of Addis Ababa, said that the government is responsible for the killings in Wollega.
Recurring identity-based attacks are happening because the government was unable to tighten the security situation in areas where there have been massacres.
Leader of the armed wing of Oromo Liberation Front ( OLF-Shane), Kumsa Driba also known as Jal Mero, denied on Thursday that his soldiers carried out the massacre in Wollega this week.
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