Ethiopia – Killings and Imprisonments will not solve political disputes in Oromia

The Political Reforms in Ethiopia are at Risk

HRLHA Urgent Action, January 11, 2019

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa is seriously concerned about the current mass arrests and killings in Oromia regional state in Ethiopia in connection with the recent unexpected differences that have appeared between the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO). The two sides are accusing each other of not obeying the implementation of the agreement reached in early July 2018 in Asmara (Eritrea) to work together to enhance the transition to a democratic system.

Both sides have made an agreement to work together to further the political change brought by the Oromo’s peaceful struggle beginning in 2014 and running until 2018 in which thousands of Oromos, especially young Oromos, have been killed, imprisoned and injured by the TPLF/EPRDF government security members. However, after months of working on the process of the agreement’s implementation, nothing has mended the differences between both Organizations. The OLF & ODP continue accusing each other of failing to comply
with the bilateral agreements they reached in Asmara/Eritrea regarding the process of merging the OLF fighters operating in all Oromia zones into the Oromia police and military.

Western and Eastern Wallagga, Southern Borana and Gujii, Eastern Hararge and South Eastern Bale in which several Oromos have been killed and others imprisoned by the federal forces and many others have been wounded and taken to hospitals for treatment.

The HRLHA confirmed that the situation in western and eastern Wallagga (Nekemt, Gimbi, DanbiDollo, Begi, Shambu, Harato, and Fincha) towns are under tension, since Federal Government military personnel using military vehicles entered into those areas from different directions in the middle of December 2018 .

The recent reports the HRLHA received from its informants in Gimbi, Nekemt, Shambu, and Harato towns show there are gross human rights violations committed by the Federal Military in different districts in Western Wallagga including Begi, Lalo Nura, Dalasi, Kamisa, and Eastern Wallagga (Shambu, Ficha, Harato) towns and others in which dozens have been detained and other hundreds have been killed.

For example, on Jan. 09, 2019 among hundreds of Oromos detained are Abba Gada Getachew Tefera in Begi and the previous prisoner of conscience, Chaltu Takele Abetu, Sanyii Takele Abetu, Merga Wirtu (Teacher), and Desta Leta (Businessman), in Shambu town have been arrested by the Federal military.

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