Eritrean Soldiers are Brutally Persecuting Civilians in Abay Choman Region of West Oromia
(OLF Press Statement, May 30, 2021)
The OLF had been voicing for a long time that the involvement of foreign Eritrean forces in Ethiopia’s internal affairs would significantly complicate the security situations in the country and the Horn of African region. The participation of Eritrean Soldiers not only compromises the sovereignty of the country but also the ruthless behaviors of the soldiers cause huge destruction and appalling human rights abuses. The atrocities, that were proved in Tigray operations and evidenced by the international community investigations, are observed in a similar fashion in Oromia.
As per the secret agreement made between the Ethiopian ruling group and the Eritrean regime, the Eritrea forces have been deployed to Oromia and Benishangul- Gumuz regions and repeating the same atrocities on civilians as that of the Northern part of the country. There was tangible evidence that in April 2021, many battalions of Eritrean soldiers had been deployed to Horro Guduru, Qellam Wallagaa, West Wallaga, Guji, and Borana Zones of Oromia and the Metekel (Benishangul Gumuz) region and caused enormous damages to the civilians including beating, killing, looting properties, raping women and children and arbitrarily detaining civilians.
We sadly express that as we speak similar atrocities are underway in the western Oromia region of Abay Choman. According to the reliable information we received yesterday (29 May 2021) from the local residents, the Eritrean soldiers who are stationed in the military base known as the 4th Camp in Horro Guduru Zone, Abay Chomen, specific location of Finchaa Sugar Factory are brutally persecuting civilians. They are beating residents; confiscating mobile phones and either breaking or taking for their personal use; arresting individuals from their homes without any reason and putting them in detentions. Among the victims are a local resident known as Mr. Namoomsaa Hatahuu and his wife Mrs. Yashii Dassalee together with their one-year-old baby had been beaten and taken to detention for further torture. Also, our sources confirm that because the Eritrean soldiers do not understand the languages spoken in the country, they indiscriminately beat and arrest people without proper communication. Also, various sources verify that similar brutalities are currently carried out by Eritrean Soldiers in different parts of Oromia and Benishangul regions.
We would like to caution the Oromia citizens and Benishangul-Gumuz people to be aware of these evil acts of foreign soldiers and defend themselves in unison. We also would like to inform the international community that the continued involvement of Eritrean forces in Ethiopian internal affairs will not only escalate the atrocities in Ethiopia but also bring a significant danger to the peace and security in the region.
Therefore, we call upon the International community, AU, and UN bodies to hard press the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Oromia and monitor the atrocities on civilians. We insist that due attention be given to the behaviors of these perpetrators and the development in Oromia as it is causing the suffering of civilians and loss of civilian lives in these conflict areas.
Victory to the masses!
Oromo Liberation Front
May 30, 2021