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News: One of four youths arrested by gov’t forces in Anfillo, Western Oromia found dead

The four youth arrested in Anfillo, Kellem Wollega on 22 August (Photo: Social Media)

Addis Abeba – One of the four youths who were arrested by government forces in Anfilloo district of Kellem Wollega zone in Western Oromia has been found dead, residents told Addis Standard.

According to two residents of Sudi village in the district who anonymously spoke to Addis Standard, the four youths; Hunde Banti, Firaol Biniam, Danga Dhina and Waktola Daraje were allegedly “kidnapped by government security forces” on 22 August 2023.

One of the two residents said, last Friday, the body of Danga Dhina was found dumped by the road at a place called Minkoo near Dambi Dollo University, in Dambi Dollo city, from where the young man’s family took his body and buried it.

The resident further claims that the four youths were taken to a military camp in a town called Ashii shortly after they were apprehended, and later taken to the ruling Prosperity Party’s office in Dambi Dollo, the zonal capital.

The second resident said the youths were severely beaten and tortured on false accusations of being members of the “Abba Torbe”, a killing squad associated with Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). He added that security forces in Dambi Dollo have been arresting people who casually wear black clothes and get their hair shaved “without any reason”, only on suspicion of grieving for the deceased.

According to the two residents, families of the other three youths are in distress being unaware of their conditions, and have received imprisonment threats upon inquiring their whereabouts. Attempts by Addis Standard to get a response from relevant local officials were unsuccessful.

On May 11, 2021 a young man, named Amanuel Wondimu, was publicly executed shortly after being interrogated by armed members of the Oromia Special Forces in Dambi Dollo. In a footage posted on the Facebook page of the communication office of the city, Amanuel was seen battered and paraded while he was forced to shout “I am a member of Abba Torbe. Don’t do what I did. Learn from me.”

In July, Addis Standard confirmed a graphic picture showing five young men dumped in a ditch with their hands tied behind their backs was that of residents of Qilxu Karra town in Qilxu Karra district, West Wollega Zone of Oromia region. The pictured youth: Obsi Dinagde, Tesfaye Terfasa, Iyassu Kassahun, Abebe Dhufera and Dessalegn Bulcha, were being abused by security forces while they were under police custody accused of having relations with

A recent in-depth analysis by Addis Standard has documented on record yet covered up extrajudicial killings by uniformed government forces in Oromia and other parts of the country. AS

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