Rights Agency Condemns Killings in Benishanglu-Gumuz

ADDIS ABEBA – The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said on Thursday it is deeply concerned by the security events unfolding in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region.

The Commission said it has received “disturbing reports” from the Region’s Metekel Zone, Bulen Woreda, Apar Kebele, and Wonbera Woreda, Melkan Kebele of the western region of Ethiopia.

The regional government has already confirmed that at least two instances of violence occurred on 6 September 2020 and between 7 and 13 September 2020.

“An official source on the ground has informed the Commission that there have been at least two rounds of killings of civilians, and hundreds of civilians have also been displaced,” the commission in a statement sent to The Monitor.

About 300 of the displaced persons have now returned to their homes, and that the National Defense Force and the Federal Police are working to stabilize the area in collaboration with the Regional Security Forces, according to the Regional Government.

The Commission “categorically condemns the attacks, killings, and displacement of civilians” and “welcomes the effort to maintain peace” by Federal Police, and the Regional Security Forces, the statement says.

“Given the patterns of such similar killings in the past,” the Commission said it “urges regional authorities to carry out impartial, prompt and effective investigations into the circumstances that led to the killings, and hold perpetrators accountable”.

The Commission also calls on authorities to ensure that victims and their families obtain full redress; and urges authorities to take all necessary measures to uphold peoples’ fundamental human rights, particularly the right to life.

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