ESAT News (April 18, 2017)
A government Commission says a total of 669 people were killed in anti-government protests last year in the Oromo, Amhara and South regions of the country. The Commission said the measure by security forces was “proportional.”
The results of the investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission was announced as the Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, said in a BBC interview that they would not allow international investigations into the killings.
The investigation by the government sponsored Commission, whose impartiality has been put to question by many, for it is considered a mouthpiece for the regime, indicate that security forces killed 462 people in the country’s Oromo region in the two-year long protests. The report said 33 security forces lost their lives in the region.
In the Amhara region, security forces shot and killed 110 civilians, while in the South 34 people were shot dead by security forces. Thirty security forces were killed in the Amhara region, according to the report.
The UN Commissioner for Human Rights last summer called for the regime to allow international rapporteurs to investigate the killings.
The figure by the government’s Commission is higher than earlier estimates by the regime as well as by the Human Rights Watch, which put the figure at 500. Local opposition political organizations like the Oromo Federalist Congress insists at least 1500 people were killed by security forces.
The six month state of emergency declared in October has been extended to another four months and tens of thousands of people still remain detained under the martial law.