Ethiopia: Authorities shift blame on local militia, opposition party members for killing of peaceful protesters


ESAT News (April 27, 2017)

Ruling party operatives are encouraging families who lost their loved ones in the anti-government protest last summer to register in a bid to receive compensations, while also telling them to be witnesses in charges to be brought against local militia and opposition party members, whom the regime would hold responsible for the death of protesters.

According to information ESAT received from Bahir Dar, where over 100 protesters were shot and killed by security forces in just one day in July, ruling party cadres are telling families who lost their loved ones that local militia, members of the Blue Party and protesters currently in detention would be held responsible for the death of protesters and would be brought to court.

Residents see the move as a blame shifting game by the regime, whose security forces shot and killed hundreds of protesters in broad daylight.

The government sponsored Human Rights Commission two weeks ago said 669 people were killed in the protests. Echoing the government’s position, the Commission said security forces used “proportionate” force against protesters, legitimizing the killing of innocent protesters.

The Ethiopian regime refused calls by rights groups, including the UN Human Rights Commission, for an independent investigation into the killing of peaceful protesters.

The regime has now shifted the blame on local people and the local militia, when its forces, acting with impunity, were the ones who shot live bullets at protesters.