Addis Abeba, December 20/2017 – In a statement by spokesperson released this afternoon regarding the current situation in Ethiopia, the European Union (EU) said it was “essential that independent investigations on all acts of violence are conducted.”
The statement from the EU came in the wake of increasing numbers of violence, including ethnic-based in nature, seen in various parts of Ethiopia as a result of which at least eighty people were killed in just one week
At least 61 people Ethiopian Somalis and Oromos were killed in the latest spate of violence in eastern Ethiopia, Oromia regional state. More than 800 houses were also burned and 14, 000 people were internally displaced.
In the previous week sixteen civilians were killed by the federal army in Chelenko, eastern Hararghe zone of the Oromia regional state in eastern Ethiopia, bringing the death toll higher.
“Recurring reports of violence in several universities and clashes in different parts of Ethiopia are deeply worrying” said the statement, adding, “in particular as regards their increasingly ethnic nature. This includes the recent incidents in Oromia-Somali regions, causing many casualties and the destruction of properties. The European Union extends its condolences to the families of the victims.”
Teaching learning processes in many universities have been disrupted following ethnic clashes in universities located in Oromia, Amhara and Tigrai regional states in which at least a dozen students were killed. Some universities are gearing up to open while other remain closed.
According to a local newspaper, Ethiopian ruling party dominated members of parliament have requested PM Hailemariam Desalegn to appear in parliament to give explanations on current pressing issues related to ethnic based violence & growing political crisis. Representatives of OPDO & ANDM, the two parties representing Oromia and Amhara regional states and are members of the ruling EPRDF were at the forefront of the request, according to the report.
“The setting up by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne of a task force to investigate the most recent killings is a welcome step. All sides, including regional and federal police forces, should show restraint to ensure full protection and safety of all citizens,” the EU said in the statement.
It also said that the conflict resolution mechanisms enshrined in the Constitution “should be activated swiftly in order to allow for a peaceful settlement of the issues” and called for inclusive political dialogue. “We remain convinced that only an inclusive political dialogue with all stakeholders will address the grievances of the population in a peaceful and constructive manner.”
Protests have continued in various places as residents and students keep taking to the streets denouncing these killings. AS
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