News: Gambella region rejects Rights Commission’s report, calls it “irresponsible”

Ugutu Adeng, Gambella Regional state Government Communication Affairs bureau head. Picture: Screenshot

By Mihret G/Kristos

Addis Ababa – The Gambella regional government has rejected and condemned Ethiopian Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report on extrajudicial killings of at least 50 civilians in the region following a clash in June between security forces and armed groups.

The regional government says in a statement, the EHRC’s September 28 report is “very much exaggerated and didn’t tale facts on the ground into consideration”. 

In addition informants of the report are supporters of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as well as individuals who are suspected of various crimes and were confined in one area the statement says.

It further accuses the state’s rights body saying that “the report is deliberately crafted to incite clashes between native ethnic groups of the region and their Ethiopian brothers and sisters”.

On June 14, 2022 the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the Gambella Liberation Front (GLF) militants entered and attacked Gambella town. After hours long clashes with the regional Special Forces, regular police, militias and federal police, government security forces retook control of the city.

EHRC’s report issued five days ago following the clash says actions taken mainly by Gambella government forces killed at least 50 civilians between the afternoon of 14 June and 16 June accusing them of “hiding Shene fighters and weapons in their homes”.
Gambella regional government says the report is aimed at weakening the morale of the security forces of the region who have paid sacrifices to thwart the attack by Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and Gambella Liberation Fronts (GLF).

“The report undermines the right to self-defense of our people and it is irresponsible,” the statement says. AS

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