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Ethiopian Rights Body Urges Government to Protect Human Rights

FILE - Internally displaced children walk through an alley of a camp in the town of Azezo, in Ethiopia's Amhara region, on July 12, 2021. The camp hosts Ethiopians as well as Eritrean refugees uprooted by the war in Tigray.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has published a detailed report on human rights violations over the past year. According to the findings, the country has suffered its worst record of rights violations as conflicts result in a surge of civilian killings.

The report documents violations in almost all parts of Ethiopia, from conflict in the north to fighting on Oromia and ethnically motivated killings in the southern Gambela, among other regions.

According to the report, 740 civilians have been killed, including women, children and the elderly, due to the war with Tigray that has advanced into the Amhara and Afar regions. The Oromo Liberation Army, an entity that the Ethiopian parliament calls “Shane” and has labeled a terrorist organization, has also been implicated in civilian killings in the Amhara, Oromia, Gambela and Benishangul regions.

The report also notes an alleged massacre in western Oromia last June. In Gambela and Benishangul, other groups have carried out ethnically targeted killings during the past year, while in the south several people have died due to unrest.

The report also blamed government forces for violations targeting civilians, including killings, torture and the jailing of over 50 media personnel.

The rights commission called on the conflicting parties in northern Ethiopia to solve differences and bring individuals implicated in rights violations to justice. It has also called on federal and regional authorities to release all detainees in police custody without due process.