The persistent and grave human rights violations and deaths of innocent civilians.
Association for Human Right in Ethiopia has continually released press statements on the issues of the identity based attacks and human rights violations against citizens. AHRE has also expressed its concerns and suggestions on what actions must be taken by the government and other concerned bodies.
It is well-known that protecting the rights and freedoms of Citizens should the prioritized. However, grave killings and continuous human rights violations are targeting civilians in several parts of the country.
According to reports by the media such as VOA, in East Oromia Region, East Welega Jarte Woreda, Debis Kebele, as of March 5, 2021 several innocent civilians have been brutally murdered, maimed, looted and displaced. Similarly in West Wolega Zone, Genbel Woreda, identity based killing of the Amhara ethnic groups in three areas of the zone were reported by several media outlets including the Amhara Media Corporation, Addis Standard and others.
On the other hand in the Benshangul Gumuz region, Metekele and Kamashe zone identity based attacks were committed against civilians beginning March 31 and April 1, 2021. Many were gruesomely murdered in the attacks and large number of people fled their homes and many endured physical injuries. These attacks have continued for days and citizens have also been voicing their concerns and complaints in several media outlets. Our organization is deeply concerned about these reoccurring ethnic based attacks and the government’s and other concerned bodies’ failure to answer citizens calls for protection.
Similarly these ethnic based killings have also occurred in Amhara region in places like Ataye, Showa Robit, Kemissie, Majete, and other nearby woredas and destroyed lives. On a report released April 3, 2020 by Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reported that more than 104 civilians were killed, three churches and one school were burnt and hundreds encountered physical injuries and thousands were displaced from their villages. In addition, an ambulance carrying wounded patients was stopped and everyone in the ambulance were brutally murdered. On the other hand, various media such as Deutsche Welle reported that clashes erupted on the Afar and Somali regions, beginning on April 2, 2021 resulting in the killings of up to 100 people and destruction of properties
The reports stated boarder issue as the major cause of the clashes and deaths of civilian casualties. Following the escalation of human rights abuses in the country, thousands of innocent civilians are being displaced. For the last two years, civilians have been targeted and massacred in several parts of the country which has deteriorated and worsened the human rights violations records of the country.
It is well- known that the government is responsible for guaranteeing the safety of citizens and their property. However, government bodies in different positions failed to prevent or take immediate actions after the incidents. According to numerous studies and statements by human rights organizations the disregard and lack of responsibility by the government bodies is the main cause for worsening these unlawful and inhumane acts.
The grave human rights violations and gruesome killings that are happening on daily basis coupled with other political conflicts seem to be turning the country to an unstable and volatile conflict zone. Particularly Wolega in Oromia Region, Metekel in Benishangul Gumz Region and Kamash Zone as well as in Amhara Region Oromo Ethnic Zone and North Showa boarders have become locations of killings, human rights violations and internal displacements.
Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia for the last consecutive months have released several press statements urging the government to stop the conflicts and attacks on civilians and to take remedial measures. However, enough attention was not given to these issues and the number of affected civilians is increasing and the level of malice and cruelty is getting worse as it is evident on the recent human rights violations in the country.
AHRE believes the only way these violation can be stopped is when the perpetrators and accomplices of these acts are brought to justice. The government and other responsible parties’ failure to investigate and take action creates a gap in the justice system as well as takes away the citizens’ sense of peace and security. Our organization is deeply concerned about the government’s failure to protect its citizens and create a system based on accountability and fulfil its obligations to respect, uphold and promote human rights.
Therefore, our organization urges the government to take the following remedial measures:
- To pay attention to the ongoing human rights violations in the country, take precautionary measures to avoid conflicts and prioritize the lives of citizens,
- To take the necessary measures in areas where repeated and grave human rights abuses are taking place,
- To ensure the rights of citizens to live, work and own property in any part of the country and guarantee their safety,
- To take the appropriate legal actions against individuals and groups as well as accomplices who are committing serious human rights against the people,
- Create national forums for dialogue and consultation on the current issues and
- Provide the necessary rehabilitation and follow-up to the internally displaced victims.
- In addition to researching the human rights situations in the country and giving suggestions to the government will also work on advocating and educating citizens to respect their own rights and the rights of others.