Ethiopia: The Government Must Heed Past Mistakes, Not Repeat

Ethiopia: The Government Must Heed Past Mistakes, Not Repeat

HRLHA Press Release

April 3, 2018

Since the second State of Emergency was recklessly declared, without any credible justification, by the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia on February 18, 2018- an action that has been strictly opposed by the Ethiopians, rejected by some Oromo Members of Parliament  and condemned by the world community, including the Ethiopian allied governments-over 15,000 Oromo and Amhara nationals have been incarcerated and many have been killed by the killing squads, the Agazi force.

However, the government controlled Fana Broadcast, Corporate reported on March 30, 2018 that only 1,107 people have been detained for violating the emergency decree, thereby diminishing the number of detainees by over fourteen fold.

In the past one and half months of the State of Emergency several people, including the massacre in Moyale Town in which 13 Oromos have been cold blooded, hundreds have been disappeared in East Hararge, West Wallaga and South Bale and in Central Oromia zones.

The massacre on March 10, 2018 in Moyale also forced over 50,000 Oromos to cross the border into Kenya fearing for their lives.  The Government military still operating in Moyale harasses the residents daily. The Ethiopian Federal government Generals/Commanders supported the Liyu Police attack that has also continued unabated on the border between Ethiopian Somali with Harrge in the east, Bale, Borana and Guji in the South.

The Ethiopian government’s promise to widen the political room for political organizations has been compromised by arresting opposition political leaders, journalists and bloggers, including Andualem Arage and Eskindir Negga who were recently released as part of reforms advanced by the former premier, Hailemariam Dessalgn. The killings of civilians, re-arrests of recently released political prisoners and the new wave of arrests are evidence for the non readiness of the government to bring political reform to the country.

After its long meetings the EPRDF chose Dr. Abiy Ahamed  as its Chairman to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Hailmariam Dessalegn. The newly elected Dr. Abiy Ahmed  has sworn in as a new Ethiopian Prime Minister  on April 2, 2018 to proceed with the reform declared by ex-Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn two months ago.

However, in his inauguration speech Dr. Abiy Ahmed did not mention the release of all political prisoners, including those kept incommunicado such as Andargachew Tsige and those forcefully disappeared such as Dabasa Guyyo, Nadhii Gamada and others,  invite all political opponents for dialogue  to  bring  about political changes  in which all political organizations will be a part of the process.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) was very concerned about the unclear  plan and steps taken by the Government of Ethiopia  in the past two months since the government promised to widen the political space to bring peace and stability where the  rights of the citizens are respected based on the domestic and international rule of law. It is the responsibility of the  newly  appointed Prime Minister to uphold the promises of the EPRDF government to restore peace and democracy in the country by stopping  further  killings and imprisonments which could put the stability of the country at risk

Therefore, to solve the political, humanitarian and human rights crisis and to restore peaces and stability in the country  the HRLHA recommends:

  • Avoid the unlawful state of emergency imposed on Ethiopians on March 18, 2018 immediately
  • Release all prisoners of conscience, including those kept in confinement over the past 28 years unconditionally
  • Repeal all repressive laws, including the draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Proclamation, which have been used by the government to quell the dissent
  • Call all Opposition Political Organizations for dialogue to find an all- inclusive political solution to bring peace and stability by averting the political, humanitarian and human rights crisis in the country
  • Stop the Liyu Police invasion against Oromia territory and brig the Federal Government Generaks/commanders to justice who backed the attack against Oromo civilian along the Somali-Oromo border

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