Ethiopia not doing enough to curb ethnic violence: Amnesty International

Amnesty International has accused the Ethiopian government of not doing enough to prevent escalating ethnic violence in some of its regions.

Oromia, the country’s biggest region, is home to Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo.

Groups of Oromo youths have targeted thousands of Amhara, they are the country’s second-largest ethnic group and in the past couple of months, 20 people have been killed in attacks since last October.

Joan Nyanyuki is East Africa director for Amnesty International said in a statement, “The Ethiopian government must take action to prevent these brutal attacks on the Amhara community, who have been targeted due to their ethnicity and now face being made homeless.”

The organisation said this week accused Oromo youth groups of surrounding Amhara homes, beating residents, and looting property.

The statement said, “But residents say the authorities have done nothing to stop them.”

Ethiopia has been divided into ethnically demarcated federal regions. However inter-communal conflicts have become the norm in recent months, especially in Oromia.

According to the United Nationas in 2017 when ethnic violence along Oromia’s shared border with neighbouring Somali region left hundreds dead and at least 1.1 million displaced.

The fighting is still ongoing since April between neighbouring communities in Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, and the UN figures say around 427,000 people have been displaced.

Although the Ethiopian state media reported in January that the government had allocated 500 million birr ($18.1 million, 15.4 million euros) to help people displaced by conflict, Amnesty is not happy, they have accused new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of not doing enough.

Nyanyuki said, “Ethiopia’s new government has been making great strides to improve human rights in the country, but the pattern of ethnically motivated violent attacks and displacement is being shamefully ignored.”

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