Fri 24 June 2022:
The UN rights chief, Michelle Bachelet on Thursday, urged Ethiopian authorities to launch “prompt, impartial and thorough” investigations into the weekend attacks in the country’s west that left hundreds dead.
“I am horrified by the senseless killing as well as the forced displacement of the local population in the attack on Tole village,” Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.
She said her staff had spoken with witnesses to the June 18 attack in the Oromia region who said armed individuals descended on Tole and began shooting randomly, leaving hundreds dead.
Most of the victims were women and children, the statement said, adding that at least 2,000 other people had been forced to flee their homes.
“The armed individuals also reportedly burned down several houses during the four-hour assault,” it said.
Following hours of violence, bodies from hundreds of Amhara ethnic group members were still lying on the streets, according to survivors of the Tole incident who spoke to AFP.
The OLA, which the Ethiopian government has designated as a terrorist organization, has also been given the blame for the attack by the Oromia regional authorities.
However, a spokesman for the rebel organization accused the local pro-government militia of carrying out the executions and demanded an impartial investigation.
“I call on the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that investigations are promptly launched into the attack and to ensure that victims and their families have a right to truth, justice and reparations, including by holding those responsible to account,” Bachelet said.
She also said an unspecified number of people were reported to have been abducted during the attack and that their whereabouts remained unknown.
“I call on the authorities to take all necessary and lawful measures to ensure those abducted regain their freedom,” Bachelet said.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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