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News: Benishangul Gumuz region ruling party admits ethnic targeted killings in Metekel, issues an apology & sacks senior members

By Siyanne Mekonnen @siyaanne 

Addis Abeba, February 11/2021 – The higher and mid level officials of Benishangul-Gumuz Prosperity Party (PP) ended a 3 day long conference adopting a series of resolutions ranging from probation to suspension of the leadership. The party also issued an apology for “sad and ethnically targeted” violence that resulted in the loss of life and destruction of property in Metekel zone.

Among the senior officials relieved of duty is Tadele Terefe, the Benishangul-Gumuz regional state chief House Speaker and a member of the Prosperity Party Central Committee.

Benishangul-Gumuz Prosperity Party also issued a statement with a nine point resolution of the party’s stance on the overall security situation of the region with special focus on Metekel Zone. The political situation was evaluated and areas that need a special focus were identified, the party said.

Yishak Abdulkadir, head of the region’s ruling party, said that the killings of civilians and destruction of property in the Metekel zone was caused by people within the regional leadership who he referred to as ‘double agents’. “We apologize to the people of the region for the heartbreaking and shameful deeds that took place in the region, especially in the Metekel Zone,” he said, adding  “we are ready to make amends through actions.” 

In addition to acknowledging that the attacks in Metekel Zone are ethnically motivated, Yisehak noted that the attacks were aggravated by the involvement of senior officials in the regional leadership.

The the three day conference evaluation result has identified that these officials have formed an alliance with ‘anti-peace groups’ operating inside and outside of the country, getting in the way of efforts to solve the problem. It also assessed that there are members of leadership who used the false premise that ‘Prosperity Party is unitary government’ to achieve their own interests and mislead the people.

Members of leadership who evaded previous measures including purges and arrests have been identified in this conference, according to Yishak, who also said that 18 federal and regional leaders were given a serious warning and 19 received cautionary warning.

The members have accepted the decision made by the ruling Prosperity Party and their case will be presented to concerned authorities.

Yishak recalled the measures taken on more than 100 regional leaders on various levels who have failed to fulfill their duties. He expressed the readiness to provide the necessary information to the court of justice so that they can be prosecuted. There will be further evaluation on the performance of the region’s leadership, according to him and more will be removed from their positions accordingly. AS

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