Commission Accuses Govt Security Forces of Extrajudicial Killing

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) accused members of security forces of killing 11 people extra-judicially in Benishangul region last week.

The Commission made the accusation following an investigation it conducted into allegations and a video linked to the cases widely circulated on Social media.

The video purportedly shows men in Federal army uniforms taunting the man and setting him on fire.

The EHRC said the killing occurred on March 3, last week, in Aysid Kebele of Guba District, where the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam construction project is ongoing.

The probe “could confirm the burning of dead bodies along with a man who was alive by the government security forces and others”, the EHRC said in a statement Sunday.

It took place a day after armed men attacked a convoy heading to Aysid Town, killing 20 people, mainly members of government security forces, and injuring 14 others, the commission said. Thirty members of the armed men were also killed.

The next day, EHRC said security forces arrested eight people they suspected of having involvement in the attack during a search inside a vehicle, along with a military radio, photos and 40,000 birr.

The commission said security forces killed all the men they arrested along with two others who opposed their arrest extra-judicially and burned their bodies inside a nearby forest. Another man, later found hidden in the car after a tip-off, was also thrown into the fire alive, it added.

The EHRC called for authorities to launch a criminal investigation into the role the Federal, regional and other government security forces stationed there played, both by commission or omission, in the extrajudicial killings.

“EHRC calls for accountability for torture, cruel, degrading treatment and extra-judicial killings by government security forces,” tweeted Commissioner Daniel Bekele.

On Saturday, the government said it would take action against people involved in the killings.