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News: Amhara opposition party requests PM Abiy to appear before lawmakers, Parliament session on recent killing in Western Oromia

Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives, Tagesse Chafo. Picture: HoPR

Addis Abeba – The opposition National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) requested Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives, Tagesse Chafo, to call on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to appear before Parliament to explain why his government is “unable to stop the ongoing genocide against the people of Amhara, and why it has not been able to provide adequate support to the victims who are displaced by the recent attack in Western Oromia, at a time when PM Abiy Ahmed and his government repeatedly state that “they have built the capacity and enough security forces to ensure the security of our country and its people.”

NaMA also requested the Parliament to accept the request raised by its MP, Dr. Desalegn Chane, and to convene the Parliament “to discuss the genocide in Tole Kebele and neighboring kebeles and take appropriate action on the matter.”

On 21 June, four members of parliament representing the NaMA walked out of an ongoing parliamentary session, which was convened to receive Federal Auditor General 2021 Audit Performance Report; the MPs walked out of the session protesting against the Speaker’s refusal to include the killing in western Oromia of mainly Amhara community members as agenda item following the request from MP Desalegn Chane (PhD).

In its statement today, NaMA criticized the Speaker for his handling of the request from its MP and said that the Speaker has contravened the House’s own rules on emergency sessions.

“The House is permitted by law to deal with emergencies other than the issues on the agenda, and it is clear that unrestricted and full-fledged jurisdictions on emergencies can be addressed with the consent of the Speaker of the House. As can be seen in the video of the conversation between Dr. Desalegn Chane and Tagesse Chafo, Tagesse Chafo violated the House’s bylaws [by saying] ‘we will not discuss issues that are not on the agenda'”, NaMA said.

The Party insisted that the request made by MP Desalegn “is an urgent matter based on the rules and regulations governing the House,” and rebuked the Parliament’s statement later that day that the Parliament was a place for discussion and consultations, not a forum “to score political points.” The Parliament “mocked” at the agenda presented to discuss “genocide” as merely a political agenda, NaMA further said.

NaMA also protested against a letter by the Speaker instructing the Health, Social, Cultural and Sports Affairs Standing Committee members to investigate the killings in Tole and surrounding areas together with allegations against the government and its recent conduct of “law enforcement measures,”; as well as the unspecified deadline given for both investigations. “It puts into question the manner with which the Speaker and the Parliament have taken up the case,” NaMA said. AS

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