Once in a day, stories from Wazema newsroom and other sources.

June 1, 2023

Daily News Summary

1) The opposition Oromo Federalist Congress urged Ethiopia’s Oromia regional government and the Sheger City Administration in the region Thursday to “stop the ongoing demolition of private houses and religious institutions immediately” and instead “reexamine the legality and enforcement of the decision” in a statement. The party said the demolition is “untimely” adding it was being carried out “without proper consideration of alternative solutions.” The statement also criticised that the demolition didn’t follow “legal procedures” and “was based on wrong policy.” The party stated that the demolition had made thousands of people homeless and several mosques and churches from the Orthodox and Protestant denominations were forcefully demolished in an inappropriate manner. The Oromia regional authorities Wednesday denied the allegation that the demolition targeted religious institutions.

2) Human Rights Watch accused Ethiopian authorities particularly Amhara regional officials of “continued ethnic cleansing campaign” against ethnic Tigrayans in western Tigray region even after the Peace Agreement signed between the Federal Government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in November 2022. In an investigation report, the rights body said ethnic Tigrayans have been subjected to “arbitrary detention”, “torture” and “death” in detention camps and forcefully evicted from their homes. The report accused individuals Colonel Demeke Zewdu and Belay Ayalew of continuing human rights violations against ethnic Tigrayans. The rights body called on the Ethiopian government to suspend security forces and officials, investigate and prosecute them. The preliminary findings of the investigations were sent to the government for comment, said Human Rights Watch, but the government didn’t reply.

3) The nongovernmental Ethiopian Human Rights Council revealed in a report Thursday that the authorities in Addis Ababa and Sheger City Administration of Oromia region demolished more than 111 thousand houses designated by the authorities “illegal”. The report that is based on investigations conducted from October 2022 to May 2023 said the victims were subjected to human rights violations including “beatings”, “arrest” and “hate speech” during the process of the demolition. Before the demolition, the report said, the government had been providing the demolished houses and businesses with water and electricity services.

4) The Security Office of Debre Elias district in West Gojjam zone of Amhara region blamed unnamed “armed groups” for the deadly clashes with members of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) that occurred in the Selassie Andinet Orthodox Christian monastery. The clashes that lasted five days till Tuesday left several people dead or wounded, according to local media reports. The office accused the unnamed armed groups of “giving illegal military training inside the monastery” using the monastery as a cover but the monastery’s sources denied there was a military training inside the monastery, media reports added. The Amhara regional government or the federal government haven’t given any information about the incident at the time of filing the report. The exact number of casualties still remained unknown at the time of filing the report.

5) The authorities in Ethiopia’s Amhara region said a new study had revealed the damages on properties in the region caused by the two-year war in northern Ethiopia from November 2020 and 2022 amounted to $USD9.4 billion, local media reported. This was revealed in a press briefing to local media outlets by the regional Office for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Fund on Thursday. The region is now undertaking reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts by allocating $USD18 million, the reports quoted the office as saying.


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