Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Metekel Zone Security Apparatus Part of the Security Crisis in the Region

Task force in Metekel Zone said security forces in the region worked with ‘bandits’ who slaughtered hundreds of civilians in the region  

Brigadier General Alemayehu Wolde, Member of The Task Force and Commander of the Western Command (Photo : ENA)


January 27, 2021 

Life in Benishangul Gumuz regional state has been a nightmare for hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians who were deliberately and through structurally supported political works, made to be seen as aliens in the region.

The result was that the killings of ethnic Amhara and ethnic Agaw came to be regular to the point that it was regularly making headlines in local media – although it was not given the attention it deserves. It certainly begs a question as to why the human rights situation in Tigray region of Ethiopia,after the defeat of TPLF forces, has been at the center of media attention at the international level while Benishangul, where hundreds of civilians are slaughtered essentially every week, is ignored. 

For several months now, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration admitted that government officials at the regional and zone level were involved in facilitating the massacre of civilians in the region. 

The manufactured security crisis in the got to the point that the Federal government had to deploy members of the Ethiopian Defense Force,amid the law enforcement operation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, and establish a task force with the intention to control the incessant slaughter of innocent civilians. As it turns out, multiples of new attacks against innocent civilians took place while the deployed defense forces were in the region. More than 170 people, mostly children and women, were massacred in the Metekel zone after the defense force and Command Post was made in charge of the security situation. 

A report by Ethiopian News Agency on Wednesday said that the Federally established task force had engaged community members in the Metekel zone with the aim to get feedback about the security situation. The finding is that security authorities in the zone had been coordinating with armed groups operating in the region that are targeting civilians. 

And the task force, under Let. General Asrat Deniyero, “warned members of Metekel zone security apparatus for working with bandit groups,” as reported by the Ethiopian News Agency. 

According to the report, the task force recommended that members of the security apparatus in the zone be evaluated and take training. About 37 senior police officers in the region are already taking the training. 

Brigadier General Alemayehu Wolde, member of the task force and commander of western command, is cited as saying that the security forces should serve “different nations and nationalities” equally. 

“Those members of the security pretending to be servants of the people but supporting the bandits activity should correct their move,” he is quoted as saying. 

No slaughter is reported this week from the region, and it remains to be seen if the new arrangement will end what looks like an ethnic cleansing practice in the region. 

At least 174,000 residents have been displaced from the region. Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, visited some of them this week  when he attended the first convocation ceremony of Injibara University. “No area in Ethiopia could undertake ethnic cleansing,” he told those who were displaced from Benishangul Gumuz region. 

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