By Getahun Legesse @Birmaduu2
Addis Ababa – Government security forces have killed Boru Roba, a respected member of the Karrayyu Gadaa leaders, and abducted his brother and sister along with two other individuals in Fentalle, East Shewa Zone of Oromia regional state. According to multiple sources in the area who spoke to Addis Standard, the killing and abductions took place on Saturday, 15 October.
“The security forces came to his [Boru Roba] residence in Tututi village at the specific place called Bomissa [in Fentalle district] on Saturday morning at around 10 AM local time. They took him away and killed him. He was killed not far away from his residence. They let him lie down and shot him in the head in public view; he died immediately,” an eye witness who asked to be anonymous said.
The security forces have also abducted the brother and sister of Boru Roba and two others, according to the witness.
“After they [security forces] killed Boru Roba, they took away his brother and sister and two others to a nearby military camp, which is located in Gidara village,” the witness added.
Another informant who also spoke to Addis Standard said that there was an active military operation in the area to “hunt down” members of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), commonly referred to as ‘Shane’ by the government. The Ethiopian parliament has labeled OLA as “terrorist group” along side the TPLF, a party ruling the northern Tigray Regional state.
“After they [security forces] killed Boru Roba, they took away his brother and sister and two others to a nearby military camp, which is located in Gidara village”
According to the witnesses, the military operation being carried out has raised tensions among the local community and movements are restricted in the area. Civilians in areas where militarized hostilities between government and OLA forces take place are often subjected to killings and detentions as they face government accusations of supporting or hiding armed groups.
“It has been three days now since business activities have been restricted and traveling to and from towns has become impossible. The majority of the residents have fled their homes to the nearby bushes,” one resident said.
Security forces composed of the national defense forces, Oromia special force, and the militia are operating in villages including Gidara, Tututi and Toro Bedeno in Fentalle district.
Houses have been looted and burned, cattle confiscated and people, including the elderly and women are harshly beaten in these villages according to the residents. There are also reports of killing of two other unnamed men in Gidara village.
Local government officials were unavailable to comment on these allegations. But the government has previously denied similar accusations saying that its forces do not deliberately target civilians.
In December last year,14 prominent members of the Karrayyu Gadaa leadership were summarily executed in the same locality on the occasion of prayer ceremony.
The federal and Oromia regional governments initially blamed the killings on OLA, which denied involvement from the get go.
Later on, a report by the state’s Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that the killings were carried out by members of government security forces and that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that it constituted “extrajudicial killing.” AS