The United Nations Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights has released stark revelations, accusing government forces of conducting extrajudicial killings, arrests, and torture of civilians in Oromia Regional State, spotlighting a grim picture of human rights in the region.
The commission is investigating multiple instances of egregious human rights abuses in Oromia. One instance on December 1, 2021, saw the arrest and subsequent killing of Karayu chiefs in the Fantale district, East Shawaa, by security forces. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has substantiated this with preliminary findings revealing that 14 people, including the Karayu Abba Gadaa delegation, were killed by government forces.
Further investigation has exposed the tragic case of 17-year-old Emmanuel Wondimu who was killed on May 11, 2021, in Dembidollo, Kellem Wollega region. This adds to the pattern of unaccounted violence, where individuals are killed without trial, illustrating a grave disregard for due process and human life.
Unlawful Detentions and Torture
Many Oromo civilians have been unlawfully detained and accused of affiliations with the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), suffering torture and inhumane treatment during interrogations. Such illicit practices and torturous interrogations underscore a systematic breach of human rights, raising serious ethical and legal questions.
Military Dominance and Information Blockade
Significant areas of Oromia are reported to be under stringent military command. The commission’s inquiry into drone strikes in western Oromia has uncovered considerable harm to civilians. Further, the obstruction of information flow in Western Oromia signals a possible attempt to conceal the on-ground realities and suppress dissenting voices.