Ethiopia: Rights Commission Denounces Security Measures

Addis Ababa — Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission has denounced security measures against protesters in the Amhara region this week that it said led to the deaths of civilians.

The government-established commission, which is monitoring operations in the region, reported civilian deaths, though it did not specify how many people were killed.

The regional director for monitoring and investigation, Alemu Meheretu, said the commission has received reports of shelling in the Amhara region’s North Shewa Zone.

“There have been attacks with heavy weapons. People have died because of this, and we have also been informed about the destruction of houses as well,” Meheretu said. “Roadblocks and tensions are also being reported.”

Meheretu added that the commission will issue a report and work on interventions when it has full information.

The clashes are between the Ethiopian military and the Amhara region militia, which has set up roadblocks on major routes to the capital.

Protests in Amhara started in early April, following government calls to integrate regional forces into the military or the police.

Regional Amhara forces fought alongside the Ethiopian government during the two-year war in the neighboring Tigray region.

The government’s law enforcement operations have also targeted opposition members accused of inciting protesters, according to the Human Rights Commission.

Attempts to reach the region’s communications director went unanswered.

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