Ethiopia ADDIS ABABA. A rights group has accused Ethiopian security forces of continuing to commit grave human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions and torture, since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018.
Today police fired live bullets on a group of protesters who oppose the PM in Bale Robe killing at least one.
A young boy named Awal Abduro was killed viciously in Robe, Bale by government forces in broad daylight.
Abiy has introduced a series of sweeping reforms, including granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners and repealing draconian laws, since coming to power in April 2018. The initiation of broad domestic changes – along with efforts to end hostilities with neighbouring Eritrea, a longtime foe – has won Abiy international praise and secured him the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
But Abiy’s tenure has also been plagued by ethnic conflict, with hundreds of thousands of people being internally displaced amid a worsening security situation.
“The violations depicted in the report are telling of unfinished business of reform in Ethiopia including impunity for past human rights violations,” Deprose Muchena, Amnesty’s regional director for Southern Africa and East Africa.
In the case of Oromia, analysts believe the violence is largely attributed to the return of exiled opposition political parties following the opening up of the political space two years ago.
“When Abiy took power he criticised the authoritarian practices of the preceding government. But he has not been able to completely change the character of the regime just by making changes at the centre,” William Davison, senior analyst for Ethiopia at International Crisis Group, told Al Jazeera.
He said the abuses are, to a large degree, a continuation of the violations seen under the previous governments.
“The expectation was that when the OLF returned to Ethiopia it would put down its weapons. Instead, a power struggle soon erupted between the OLF and the government, which led to continuing violence,” he said.
According to Davison, there is “no immediate prospect of a peaceful resolution” to the situation in western Oromia as the government seems intent on eradicating the OLA. The fact that there have not yet been free and fair elections, as promised, and that polls have now been delayed beyond the government’s term, complicates the situation, he added. Ethiopia News