ESAT News (May 31, 2018)
Amnesty International said today that the Ethiopian government must immediately withdraw and disband the Liyu police unit of the Somali regional state, whose members are unlawfully killing people in neighbouring Oromia region.
“Members of the unit, set up by the Somali state as a counter-terrorism special force, this week burnt down 48 homes belonging to Oromo families who were living in Somali, forcing them to flee to Kiro in the regional state of Oromia,” Amnesty said in a statement.
“The Ethiopian authorities must immediately demobilize the Liyu police and replace them with police that abide by international human rights law. These rogue officers must not be allowed to brutalize people at will,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
“The authorities must put an end to what appears to be state-sanctioned violence. The first step is to ensure all policing in Oromia is respectful of human rights. The next is to hold those responsible for these attacks to account through thorough, impartial and independent investigation.”
Amnesty recalled that in 2017, incursions into Oromia by the Liyu Police unit led to the deaths of hundreds and the displacement of more than one million.