Oromia Police Commission said it is investigating to bring perpetrators responsible for the killings of members of Karrayyu Gada leadership in East Shewa Zone of Oromia Region.
It is a move that comes as the Oromia Regional Government and the Commission face mounting pressure from opposition groups and human rights organizations, which blamed security forces of the Region for the killings of 14 members of the Gada leadership.
On December 1, 2021, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) accused security forces in Oromia region of killing 14 Karayu’s leaders.
One of the Aba Gadas died after being beaten in prison and the fourteen were killed a day after eleven security forces were killed by unidentified forces in Fentale woreda of eastern Shewa zone, according to the EHRC. Oromia Police says it is early to make such conclusions.
Mulatu Wordofa, deputy commissioner of Oromia Police Commission, in an interview with The Reporter, said it is difficult to conclude that security forces have participated in the killings before the end of an investigation was carried out by his office.
“We will bring everyone involved in the killing to justice, but that will happen after we conclude the investigation,” Mulatu said, adding, “The police commission will communicate the findings of the investigation with the public once it is over.”
His statement is in stark contrast with the initial statement released by the Commission, which first blamed the Oromia Liberation Front (Shene) for the killings in a statement posted on Facebook. The Facebook post was deleted afterwards.
The Commission also accused Shene of killing 170 officials of the regional government in the last three years.
“The officials were killed by OLF’s wing called Shene,” said Mulatu.
In the last three years, conflict in some parts of Oromia, particularly in western parts of the region, has claimed the lives of thousands and has adversely impacted the region’s economy.