Last week, Hawas Mato Borra, a senior member of the Karayu Michile Gadaa leaders in the Fantale district of East Shawa zone, in Oromia regional state, was reportedly shot and killed by armed groups identified as Amhara militants. Borra was the last remaining survivor of the massacre of 14 Gadaa leaders, who were executed by members of the Oromia regional state police in December 2021.
The Karrayyu community has accused government forces of committing atrocities in the name of hunting down the rebel group Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), arbitrarily imprisoning, killing, and disarming members of the Karrayyu community for allegedly sheltering the group. Due to the expansion of the Metehara Sugar factory and sugar plantation, the overflowing of Lake Beseka, and border disputes with neighboring communities of Afar and Amhara regions, the land on which the Karrayyu community lives is shrinking.
In February 2022, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) released a report on the killing of the Karrayu’s Gadaa leaders, stating that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the killing of the 14 members of the Gadaa leaders constitutes extrajudicial killing by security forces. The EHRC urged that members of the security forces who committed the killings should be brought to justice and that the victims and families of the victims should be compensated. However, a year after the brutal killing of the Gadaa leaders, the Karrayyu community has not received justice nor peace, despite some efforts to redress families of the victims.