September 20, 2016
The Association of Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE) has received reports of the atrocities in the Southern Region’s Konso Wereda of Ethiopia, with the use of excessive and lethal force against the Konso people. According to local sources dozens were killed, and thousands were evicted from their villages. More than 1500 houses were burned. AHRE expresses deep concern over the Ethiopian Government’s continued use of unnecessary force against protesters in various parts of the country. AHRE calls on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately stop the use of excessive, unnecessary and lethal force by security forces against the Konso people.
Konso is one the Weredas (districts) in the Southern Nation, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) which had its own Special Wereda administrative structure before it has forcefully annexed into the Segen Area Peoples Zone, in 2012 without the consent of the Konso people. The Konso people petitioned and appealed against the decision by which the regional authority had incorporated three different Weredas including Konso into one special wereda, Segen. The Konso people claimed that this annexation severely affected their political, economic and other interests. They submitted their appeal through their elected representatives to the SNNPR government, to the House of Federation and all other relevant government authorities. However, government bodies have failed to give an appropriate and timely response to the complaint of the Konso people and to their demand to either retain their previous administration structure, namely, the Konso Special Wereda or to elevate the new “Zone” status to that of its own Wereda administration rather than being incorporated into the Segen Zone. [Read more…]