Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) released a new report confirming that more than 60 people from the Oromo community were massacred in Western Oromia during the course of two days attack by armed men who gathered both from the local areas and those who crossed from the neighboring districts of the Amhara regional state.
Eye witnesses who spoke to Addis Standard last week blamed “Fano militants” for the massacre. The report from the Commission did not mention Fano militants a group of informal armed militia from the Amhara region.
However, EHRC’s report confirmed that the massacre of the civilians took place from 30 – 31 August in Amuru district, in Horo Guduru Wollega zone, in western Oromia.
The injured victims and those of more than 20, 000 displaced civilians who are currently sheltered in Obora town is of “a matter of great concern,” the Commission said.
The Commission said it spoke with residents and government officials on the issue. The attack took place after the government security forces deployed in the area were moved to another area. According to the Commission, following the killing of three people from the Amhara community on 29 August by members of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), known by the government as “OLF Shene” during an attempt “to capture the woreda’s capital city Obora” militants who gathered from the Amuru woreda and Haro Addis Alem Kebele as well as from Bure Woreda in the neighboring Amhara region attacked Oromo community members in Amuru woreda in Agemsa, Jog Migir, Tam Ilamu, Jebo Doban, Tombe Danegabe, Jawaj, Gnare, Lege Micha, Lukquma, and Wale kebelles (small districts) on 30 and 31 August.
“Residents stated that there are still areas of danger among the kebeles that have been attacked and that more than 20, 000 residents who have been displaced are in a difficult situation in Obora city”
In the course if these two days attacks, “more than 60 people have been killed” the Commission said, adding it was also able to understand from the local residents and government officials that “more than 70 people were injured”; properties and cattle of the residents were also looted. “Residents stated that there are still areas of danger among the kebeles that have been attacked and that more than 20, 000 residents who have been displaced are in a difficult situation in Obora city,” EHRC said.
Tye report confirmed an eye witness account given to Addis Standard by a survivor who said: “the militants stole over 5000 cattle. We have nothing to say, the shops, and even furniture was not spared, they [militants] loaded it onto their cars and left.”
In addition, the Commission said that according to information it collected from the residents the security threat caused by the attacks has not been resolved and “there are concerns that similar attacks may be carried out in Jardega Jarte, Kiremu and Abe Dongoro woredas in the same zone.
The commission called for “immediate deployment of government security forces in the areas where the attacks have taken place” and to ensure peace and security in order to return the displaced residents to a stable life as well as ensuring “accountability through proper investigations.”
Dr. Daniel Bekele, EHRC Chief Commissioner, said that the Commission will continue to monitor the situation and “is concerned about the tragic attack on civilians.”
Daniel also cautioned again that “appropriate precautions should be taken” during redeployment of security forces from areas where there are :security threats” so that the rights to lives, physical safety and property rights of civilians are not endangered. AS