Ethiopia Rejects calls by UN & EU for Investigations over Protest Deaths

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Ethiopian demonstrators show the Oromo protest gesture sign during Irreecha, the thanks giving festival, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

By Nangayi Guyson –nangayi.guyson@alleastafrica.com

Kampala, Uganda – Calls by the UN and EU for independent investigations into the killings of people during anti-government protests in Ethiopia last year have been rejected by Ethiopian Prime Minister (PM) Hailemariam Desalegn.

The UN and EU said last year that they were extremely concerned about the death of protesters in Ethiopia. The  Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES), released  statement calling for an independent investigation  into  2 October killings that claimed  the lives of at least 50 people after police  fired teargas and warning shots to disperse anti-government protesters at the religious Ireecha festival in Bishoftu, triggering a stampede.

Opposition groups then estimated the death toll at more than 600.

Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, had also on August last year called for international observers to investigate the killings after accusing security forces of using live ammunition against protestors in the Amhara and Oromia regions.

But Hailemariam told the BBC that an investigation by the Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission was the only way to deal with the issue.

He said Ethiopia’s sovereignty should be respected and rejected the call for external investigations.

He pointed out that the Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission was an independent institution, but admitted that it “lacked capacity” and could be strengthened. The prime minister also explained that the state of emergency had brought back “normalcy” to the country and added that those who were arrested are being held in prison and will face the judicial process.

The prime minister also defended the state of emergency, the government imposed in October last year and still extended for four month by parliament saying it has brought “normalcy” to the country and it was necessary.

Mr Hailemariam told BBC that the Ethiopian government is now focusing on solving the unemployment issue, especially among the youth, which brought resentment.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Subject: “Ethiopia Rejects calls by UN & EU for Investigations over Protest Deaths” by Nangayi Guyson,
    Apr 18, 2017

    Commentary, 18 April 2017
    Amazing! Since when EU — and by extension the UN – truly cared about AFRICA? The amazing thing about Europe is its glaring and daring posturing to be the magnanimous custodians of other regions – especially Africa. Amazing! The audacity of EU – and by extension the UN — to investigate into the internal affairs of Ethiopia is simply boundless; a testimony of itched attitude of Europe as colonial master of the world, for eternity.

    Let us take an example. If the so-called “Protest Deaths” were to happen in an European country [Example: Portugal ] would the EU, and by extension the UN, insist on investigating the matter? NOT at all! Why? We know it all – no need to waste words.

    There is a PERFECT African proverb, but impossible (i.e. for me) to translate it into English. I must try, however, because the proverb says a VOLUME to the things that EU, and by extension the UN, are about scheming. So, let me try my best with the proverb. It is about short conversation between two protagonists. The supposed-victim was alert and knew the scheme of the other. And yet, without offending the schemer, the humble, gentle, guarded victim told the schemer (in a civilized manner) that he knew what the schemer was trying to do. The amazing part of the intended victim’s reply consists of ONLY TWO WORDS, in poetic form, complete in grammatical sentence! Yes, grammatically correct.
    Anyway, in the circuitous English language, on the other hand, it goes like this >>> ‘ let us not go through the process of CHOCKING each other as we KNOW each other well’. The pillar of the proverb in the English translation are the two words CHOCKING and KNOWING. It is a VERY clumsy translation, but the best I can do – give me high mark for “trying”.

    Regardless of my deficiency in translation, however, the fact remains that Africans had their own wisdom, culture, communication in their own language. But alas “MODERN” education came along ostensibly to educate but wound-up with its true intention i.e. not only to occupy the land and natural resources, but to ‘colonize’ the mind of the African. In short, MODERN EDUCATION WAS GEARED TO DESTROY AFRICA , NOT TO ENLIGHTEN AND EMPOWER AFRICA, BUT TO LOSE ITS IDENTITY. And the diabolical scheme is succeeding. How else would one explain the daring posture to meddle in the affairs of an independent, cultured, ancient country like Ethiopia? It is mind boggling. Would Africa be daring to meddle in the affairs of Europe? No, it is one way street. Europe must be the guiding light even if it attempts to justify its sordid historical past where sixty million people perished and countries devastated in the so-called civilized world war. And yet, Europe, without a shred of embarrassment, would claim to be MORAL LEADER to Africa? It is a travesty of the so-called “civilized” logic.

    Africa was messed-up by colonial marauders and it is still struggling to come out of it — without having to face slick mentality of colonialism of the 21st Century. Africa should say: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – unless we believe that Africa is hopelessly hypnotized without mercy under the spell of EUROPEAN civilization. In that case, Africa is totally damaged Continent without any sense of self-control. Indeed, European literature books – i.e. instrument to damage Africa – nick-named Africa as the “Dark Continent”, requiring Europe (so, the logic goes) to have the responsibility to be the custodian as well as ‘Enlightenment’ for ‘those creatures’ in the thick dark forests of the natural rich landmass.

    To go back to the Ethiopian Affair, it has to be the responsibility of the Ethiopian people via its elected Government, to have their own dialogue and solve their problems in their own way, appropriate to their own people. It is also important that the Ethiopian unity, integrity, cohesiveness and ancient history be intact and left to the Ethiopian people. Like any other country, Ethiopia had >>still have>> and will, no doubt, have its own problem. Yet, Ethiopia will (and must) live up to its history through thick and thin; through peace and war, no matter what. THAT IS THE RESPONSIBILTY OF ETHIOPI A, aimed for ETHIOPIANS, executed by ETHIOPIANS — not by EU, nor by the UN. THE END

    Acknowledgement:
    Once more, my sincere gratitude goes to http://www.alleastafrica.com for providing a free space for its Readership to express their views and opinions, freely. I hope, I am not abusing that privilege by my lengthy narration. I just can’t help it! THANK YOU.

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