Dr Addisu Gebregziabher, Commissioner of EHRC, said deep-rooted
problems of good governance, failure to implement the special interest of
Oromia in Addis Ababa as per stated in the constitution and the Addis Ababa
master plan were the main causes for unrest in Oromia regional state.
The report said the Oromia Media Network (OMN) and social media
issued a call for violence on August 5 and September 5, 2016. Subsequently, a
call for violence was issued by similar forces during Irrecha festival held at
Bishoftu, 45 km far from Addis Ababa.
During the festival, security forces didn’t use forces against the
crowd except firing tear gas and this measure was proportionate, the report
It further stated that the measures taken to protect civilians
from the attack carried out by including armed crowds in west Arsi, Bale and
Guji zones were proportionate and necessary.
However, the measures taken by security forces at Bale Robe and
east Hararge zone, which claimed the lives of 28 people, and the measure taken
at Bedessa town were excessive, the report indicated.
The Commission said the illegal demonstrations orchestrated
by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and Oromia
Media Network caused ethnic-based attacks, ruined religious equality, violated
the right to life and inflicted physical injuries on people.
Folloing the violence in Oromia, at total of 495 people (462
civilians, 33 security personnel) were killed in the violence, the report
Commending the patience demonstrated by security forces during
Irrecha festival, the commission also recommended security officers to be held
accountable for failing to contain the violence occurred in Bishoftu the next
It furthers recommended those who were responsible for the death
of 14 people at Adami Tulu and 38 people at Awedai and Bedessa to face justice.
The Commission further suggested the federal government and Oromia
regional state to join hands in the fight against racial hatred, religious
extremism and ethnic-based attacks.
As far as the violence in Gedio zone in SNNP regional state is
concerned, the Commission mentioned bad governance and unfair advantages as
reasons for the problems.
According to the report, 34 people were killed and 139 others
injured in the illegal demonstrations and violence occurred in the zone.
The Commission recommended those who carried out ethnic-based
attacks and those local officers, polices and Gedio Peoples Democratic
Organization, who took part in the violence, to be brought to justice.
Similarly, the main reasons for the violence in Amhara were the
identity issue of Wolkite, complaints claiming that there is dominance by
Tigrians, inclusion of Dashen Mountain under Tigray regional state in student
textbook, demanding response for Tegede border issue and complaint stating that
land from Amhara was given to Sudan.
During an attempt carried out on July 11, 2016 to arrest people
suspected of terrorism, a message was broadcast via media, including ESAT,
claiming that the move was to stop the question regarding the identity issue of
The Commission said national flags were burned and ethnic-based
attacks were carried out during the illegal demonstrations staged in the
Following the unrest, 140 people (110 civilians and 30 security
personnel) were killed in Amhara. The violence also caused damages to properties
worth over 111 million birr, the report
The Commission said the measures taken by security officers at
Maraki in Gondar on July 25, 2016 were legal and proportionate, including the
measures at Bahir Dar prison, Jiga and Libo Kemkem areas.
However, security officers used unnecessary force at Dembia,
Zeguna, Debark, Wegera, Debretabor, Simada, Ebinat, Wereta, Dangila which
claimed two lives, the Commission indicated.
Ensuring good governance, creating employment opportunities for
young people, rehabilitating those affected by the unrest, averting
ethnic-based attacks, bringing responsible security forces to justice,
respecting and promoting people’s rights and preventing movement of illegal
weapons were recommended as solutions by EHRC.
Translated and posted by Amare Asrat
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