(OLF-OLA High Command Press Release)
The Oromo Liberation Front- Oromo Liberation Army (OLF-OLA) welcomes the effort made by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in investigating, in some detail, and putting together a report regarding the callous massacre of Karrayyu Gada elders in December 2021 in East Shewa Zone of Oromia. At that time, we openly stated, depending on numerous reliable internal and external sources, that the massacre was directly attributable to regime forces. The regime did not waste time putting the blame squarely on our army.
While some see the report as a mere vindication of our original claim, the OLF-OLA considers the report in its full significance. When seen together with previous reports published by the commission over the past two years, there is a clear pattern of selective investigation and reporting of particular rights abuses in the country. To connect the dots, one has to only look at the commission’s recent statements and reporting on alleged violations in Mai Kadra, Galicoma, Chenna, and its role in the Joint Investigation with the UN Human Rights Office in mainstreaming “all-sidesm.”
The commission is also yet to organize any meaningful investigative work in other high-level killings and mass murders. Many such incidents remain in the shadow without justice or any attempt to independently investigate. To name just a few: the murder of engineer Simegnew (former chief of the GERD project), the assassination of the iconic Oromo musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa, the killing of the country’s former Chief of Staff of the national army and his colleagues, and numerous civilian mass murders by soldiers, drones or helicopter gunships.
Therefore, the investigations conducted by the commission in some instances and the absence thereof in others, point to a pattern of selective investigation in favor of the regime. The recent report of the Karrayyu Massacre of our Gadaa elders is no different. We do not believe that the EHRC is moved impartially and independently to uncover the truth regarding the killing of the Oromo cultural leaders.
We believe the report aims to: 1. Con the international community into inferring that the regime is capable of organizing an independent commission under its control at the time when its national dialogue commission is under increasing public scrutiny. 2. Attempt to delude some among the Oromo that the regime, somehow, makes an effort to ensure the safety and security of the Oromo people and its leadership, including the dear departed Gadaa leaders. 3. Use the report to score political points and settle an internal power struggle in the OPDO branch of the ruling PP.
Victory to the Oromo and Oppressed people! OLF-OLA High Command February 5th, 2022