UN calls for probe into Ethiopia protesters killings

Ninety deaths in Oromia and Amhara regions must be investigated by international observers, UN human rights chief says.

    The UN human rights chief has urged Ethiopia to allow international observers to investigate the killings of 90 protesters in restive regions at the weekend.

    Zeid Raad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Wednesday that allegations of excessive use of force across the Oromia and Amhara regions must be probed and that his office was in discussions with Ethiopian authorities.

    "The use of live ammunition against protesters in Oromia and Amhara of course would be a very serious concern for us," Zeid told the Reuters news agency in an interview in Geneva.

    He also said that his office had "not seen any genuine attempt at investigation and accountability" since January when the killings of protesters first began.

    READ MORE: The 'Ethiopia rising' narrative and the Oromo protests

    Unrest continued in Oromia for several months until early this year over plans to allocate farmland surrounding the regional capital for development.

    Authorities in the Horn of Africa state scrapped the scheme in January, but protests flared again over the continued detention of opposition demonstrators.

    In the weekend, protesters chanted anti-government slogans and waved dissident flags.

    Some demanded the release of jailed opposition politicians. Information on the reported killings has been difficult to obtain, Zeid said.

    He added that any detainee, who had been peacefully protesting, should be released promptly.

    The state-run Ethiopian News Agency said on Monday that "illegal protests" by "anti-peace forces" had been brought under control. It did not mention casualties.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.