The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned by the security events unfolding in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region.
The Commission has received disturbing reports from the Region’s Metekel Zone, Bulen Woreda, Apar Kebele, and Wonbera Woreda, Melkan Kebele. The Regional Government has confirmed that at least two instances of violence occurred on 6 September 2020 and between 7 – 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 Regional Government has further indicated that 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.
● categorically condemns the attacks, killings, and displacement of civilians;
● welcomes the effort to maintain peace by the National Defense Force, the Federal Police, and the Regional Security Forces;
● reiterates the right to life enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE), the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and other relevant human rights instruments ratified by Ethiopia;
● given the patterns of such similar killings in the past, the Commission urges regional authorities to carry out impartial, prompt and effective investigations into the circumstances that led to the killings, and hold perpetrators accountable;
● 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.
The Commission encourages all political groups and stakeholders in the region to engage in constructive dialogue, and to refrain from any form of incitement and acts of violence.
The Commission further calls on all parties to comply with the rights and duties enshrined in the FDRE Constitution and other relevant human rights instruments to which Ethiopia is a party.
The Commission will remain actively seized of this matter.