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Ethiopia’s Rights Commission warns for imminent deadly attacks

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Tuesday called for immediate deployment of “enough and regular” security forces in Eastern Wollega and Horo Guduru Zones in the country’s Oromia Region to ensure the safety of residents.The Commission made the plea a week after deadly attacks reportedly committed by rebel Oromo Liberation Army (OLA-Shene) in a town located in East Wellega Zone.

OLA-Shene, a group designated as terrorist by the Parliament, last week carried out the attacks on civilians in Harro town of Kiramu district, killing at least 15 people.

The attacks occurred following the withdrawal of ‘Oromia Special Forces from the Town for another operation’ on Oct 10, security officials told EHRC.

Following that, more people also died in another assault “by some informally organised people from the area and neighboring region”, the Commission said, quoting victims’ families.

A total of 43, 139 residents have also been displaced from six district of East Wollega Zone.

According to EHRC, similar violence in Umuru district of Guduru Zone left civilians dead in August 18, 2021.

“All of these attacks and killings were based on ethnic identity,” the Commission said, adding the situation is creating “intense tensions and conflict” between the ethnic groups.

Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele the recent attacks often occurred when local or regional security forces are on the move.

“Before the situation completely transforms into a full-fledged conflict, and until the peace and security of the area is fully ensured, the government should deploy adequate and regular security forces, especially in areas prone to conflict and violence,” he added.

Commissioner Daniel has also called for immediate humanitarian assistance to displaced People.

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