A total of 123 Ethiopians were killed during a deadly ethnic unrest in late June and early July following the killing of popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has disclosed.
In a report released on Friday, the commission said at least 500 people were injured during one of the country’s deadly ethnic based attacks that occurred in multiple places of Oromia region.
“Out of the total victims, more than 75 people were killed by security members who also wounded more than 200 others by gun bullets,” the report unveiled.
The deadly attack qualifies ‘crimes against humanity’ where in some victims were beheaded, tortured or dragged in the streets by attackers, the report stated. The report further said “it seemed that the violence took place in a country where a government did not exist,”
The commission described the violence as “widespread and systematic attacks” against civilians largely on ethnic Amharas and Orthodox Christians.
More than 6000 people were displaced and more than a billion worth of properties were looted, burned or vandalized, the report noted.
The report questioned the proportionality of the force employed by security forces in some places as several people who were not participating in the protests were killed with bullet wounds.
The commission found that local authorities and security were reluctant to respond despite victims’ repeated calls for help. The victims were told that some security forces were not ordered to intervene and according to the survivors “police stood watching as the attacks took place.”