ADDIS ABABA: The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said on Friday that security forces had summarily executed residents in Gambella, suspecting them of collaborating with rebels who attacked the southwestern city earlier this week.
The assault on Gambella on Tuesday triggered an hours-long gunfight between security forces and the Oromo Liberation Army, a rebel group which is branded a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian government.
After soldiers successfully repelled the attack by the OLA and a local armed group, “residents faced various human rights abuses at the hands of the Gambella regional … forces,” the EHRC, a state-affiliated independent rights body, said in a statement.
“EHRC has, from witness accounts and video evidence it has received, understood that individuals suspected of participating in the (rebel) attack or collaborating in the attack were killed,” it said, adding the security forces carried out “door to door executions.”
The rights body urged the authorities to “conduct an investigation and ensure accountability into illegal acts committed by security forces.”
The statement was released the same day that a video circulating on social media, whose authenticity could not be immediately confirmed, showed a man, allegedly of Oromo ethnicity, being shot dead by several uniformed men.
A spokesman for the Gambella regional authorities said in a press release that the “information being circulated on some social media platforms suggesting that an ethnic-based assault has occurred is false.”