Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia is concerned about the recurring identity-based attacks on civilians that are happening in the country. Specially:
According to reports from various sources, the ongoing racial violence has claimed many lives and injured many more. On November 2012 hundreds of people were killed and injured, and thousands were displaced as a result of repeated racial violence. In addition, a bus carrying a large number of people from Bulen to Chagni was also attacked in the Kido neighboring, attacking several people, killing most of them dead. According to several victims and witnesses, these attacks are followed by horrific and inhumane acts.
Although it has been several months since the launching of a command post in the area consisting of the Defense Forces and the Federal Police to put the unrest in the area under control, attacks on residents have continued. According to the internally displaced people in different Kebeles of Metekel Zone such as Chancho Kebele, Daliti Kebele, Albasa Kebele, Gedere Kebele for several weeks thousands of residents have been misplaced and are in dire conditions. Similarly, victims and eyewitnesses told the media that many were killed and their property destroyed as a result of the attacks by the OLF militia in the Welega area of the Oromia Region. Although the Federal, as well as the Oromia Regional government, claim to be taking measures against the groups, the armed groups continue to attack innocent civilians. On the other hand, although the Federal Government in its “law enforcement” campaign has taken control of all towns in Tigray, including Mekelle, reports from local residents and aid groups indicate that there is a serious humanitarian crisis in the area due to severe infrastructure caused by the war. Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia urges the government and concerned parties to take the following remedial measures: Ethnic-based attacks are the major cause of loss of civilians’ lives therefore, must be addressed by the government immediately. In particular, the government must stop the ongoing violence in the Benshangul Gumz region, Metekel Zone once and for all. In particular, we urge the international community to pay attention to the inhumane and horrific human rights abuses taking place in the Benihangul-Gumz region. We urge the Federal and state governments to stop the attacks on innocent civilians by armed groups and for those responsible to be held accountable. We also urge immediate assistance and support for the displaced citizens. The government must provide urgent repairs to the infrastructures destroyed following the Government’s law enforcement operation as they are affecting the lives of residents as well as work with aid agencies to provide emergency supplies to the affected population as soon as possible.