After recent reports of widespread violent demonstrations in Addis-Ababa and other parts of Ethiopia, local church leaders and members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) joined in a call for peaceful dialogue and restraint on all sides.
GENEVA, Switzerland, August 19, 2016 – After recent reports of widespread violent demonstrations in Addis-Ababa and other parts of Ethiopia, local church leaders and members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) joined in a call for peaceful dialogue and restraint on all sides.
“We mourn the lives of those who perished during these protests, and regret the arrests and violence against protesters that have occurred during the demonstrations in different areas of the country,” said Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs.
“We appeal to law enforcement officers not to resort to excessive force on unarmed civilians, and encourage protesters to look for open dialogue.”
Prove urged the ecumenical family to pray for the people of Ethiopia. “We pray that all sides join hands for a better future based on social justice and human dignity,” he said.
Reports indicate more than 100 protestors were killed in Oromia and Amhara during the last two weeks alone, and local church leaders said the situation is still quite tense as demonstrators continue to clash with security forces. The violence comes on the heels of months of unrest in the western and northern parts of the country.
The general manager of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abune Dioskoros, has also spoken publicly about the crisis, urging all parties to resolve their differences with dialogue and restrain from using excessive force against peaceful demonstrators.
The Catholic bishops of Ethiopia also issued a statement calling for peaceful dialogue, which read, in part:
“Our dear young children, we wish that you take over from us a developed and peaceful Ethiopia, not a country that is full of unrest. We urge you to remember that you have the duty and the right to take over a country that is full of peace and hope for development so you must work for this.”
“Ethiopia #OromoProtests MUST SEE: Soldiers shooting and killing a peaceful protesters in Robe, Bale. The victim is Abdela Kadir” (Ethiopia, 2016)
“Rights lobby group Amnesty International claims that at least 30 people have been killed in Ethiopia’s Amhara region and another 67 in Oromo — all by government security forces, during the protests. CCTV spoke to Ethiopia’s Communication Minister, Getachew Reda, who claims the reported death toll is an exaggeration” (CCTV Africa, 2016).
BRUSSELS, Belgium, August 10, 2016 – “Violence in the Oromia and Amhara regions of Ethiopia, including reports of killings of protesters as well as of members of the security forces, is deeply worrying. We express our condolences to all those affected. Everyone must refrain from the use of force as further violence can only be an obstacle to peaceful solutions.
The Federal Ethiopian constitution offers mechanisms which should be used by all sides to address the grievances behind the recent protests through constructive dialogue and engagement, without delay.”
Addis Ababa, August 8, 2016: The U.S. Embassy is deeply concerned with the extensive violence that occurred during protests across Ethiopia this weekend in the Oromia and Amhara regions. We have noted reports that protestors and security officials have been injured or killed, although confirmed numbers are not available.
The U.S. Embassy expresses its deep condolences to those who suffered as a result of the violence and regrets the damage to livelihoods, economic development, and the social fabric that such violence brings. We recognize that many of the demonstrations took place without authorization, and urge all parties to support those who are seeking constructive dialog and peaceful solutions. We reaffirm our call to respect the constitutionally enshrined rights of all citizens, including those with opposition views, to gather peacefully, and to express their opinions.
There been reports that on the second day in Ethiopia that the government has turned off the Internet and sent the army to the Oromia. So the TPLF and the Ethiopian Government want the world not to know their actions against their own citizens who desperately demonstrate against their oppressive behavior. This is the Ethiopian Government and their Prime Minister Hailemiriam Desalegn Boshe. Today in the Oromia have been thousands arrested and reported of approximately 60 dead. The government is really doing everything to silence and kill of the protest in the region. The Authorities are usually taking the demonstrators who we’re arrested and taken into military camps where the TLPF are torturing them and giving them inhumane treatment. There been also reported that the government fears so much for information leaks from the demonstrations that they even are blocking SMS in the areas.
The other reports of killed are these approximately 80 killed during the last 24 hours. 34 at the Amhara protests killed in Bahir Dar and 50 killed in the Omoroprotests killed yesterday (Live from Mogadishu, 07.08.2016).
“A personal witness from Asasa, W.Arsi zone says people are left helpless with their wounded family members because the military closed the only public hospital available in town” (Girma Gutema, 07.08.2016).
Demonstrations in Mogor town, West Shewa:
“We are hearing ongoing mass killing including assassination of prominent businessmen in Awaday and other Oromo towns. It is very hard to fully verify what we hear via telephone as internet is completely shut off in Ethiopia, and electricity is cut off from most towns in Oromia. The whereabout of hundreds of university lecturers, doctors and businessmen is unknown by their parents. A prominent businessman named Sheko was assassinated by the military in his own home in Aawaday. If the influx of information is confirmed, a systematic ethnic cleansing, if not genocide is being committed against the Oromo” (Daraaraa Sabaa, 07.08.2016).
“We are hearing Oromia International Bank branch in Bahr Dar is attacked. have no doubt this is done by the Tigrean mafia to attempting to instigate conflict between Oromo and Amhara. We should expect possible attack on Amhara properties in Oromia” (Jawar Mohammed, 07.08.2016)
“We are hearing ongoing mass killing including assassination of prominent businessmen in Awaday and other Omoro towns. It is very hard to fully verify what we hear via telephone as internet is completely shut off in Ethiopia, and electricity is cut off from most towns in Oromia. The whereabout of hundreds of university lecturers, doctors and businessmen is unknown by their parents. A prominent businessman named Sheko was assassinated by the military in his own home in Awaday. If the influx of information is confirmed, a systematic ethnic cleansing, if not genocide is being committed against Oromo. The Oromo around the world must be prepared to hear the worst and respond in kind” (Jawar Mohammed, 06.08.2016).
Riot in Bale:
The reports from Ethiopia are not sunny and as good as their exported coffee. This bad news as the oppressive behavior of the TPLF continues as the strongmen of the capital with their weapons and army are attacking the citizens. This should be focused and the Ethiopian Government should be condemn, sanctioned and embargoed against as the TPLF are not following any kind of peaceful means towards their demonstrators. The demonstrators are being taken down and arrested for doing their civil duty. The TPLF should beg for legitimacy in the region, not silence them by the gun and by the monopoly of violence against the Omoro people and their institutions.
In Koma Town:
The TPLF have deployed ordinary army from the border regions to the Amhara region to engage the civilians. What is fearful when Ethiopians are even saying if a protester dies on the outside of Addis Ababa than it seems not to count. Therefore the TPLE can do as they want in the regions of demonstrations. Peace.