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Dimtsachin Yisema washington DC support committee Press Release

August 7, 2013

Press Release

Dimtsachin Yisema Washington, DC strongly denounces the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians in  and around Kofele town.

Washington DC, Aug 06, 2013

The TPLF/EPRDF régime in its latest attempt to squash the peaceful demand of the Ethiopian Muslims to stop interfering in their religious affairs, gunned down more than 20 people and wounded dozens. Among the dead were a mother with a child on her back and people seeking shelter in a mosque. Thousands of people are arbitrarily detained in a makeshift prisons and the whole area is surrounded by heavy military, preventing humanitarian and other access. the area spanning from western Arsi all the way to Bale region is virtually shut down as a war zone; even relatives are unable to claim the bodies of their loved ones.  Such attacks on civilians are a violation of international humanitarian law and contrary to human rights and cannot be justified in anyway. These deliberate atrocities by the government came at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time when people were busy preparing for the upcoming Eid celebrations.

The attack in Kofele area came two days after the regime announced the use of force to intimidate  Muslims from demanding for their God given rights – the right for religious freedom. Sensing the government’s desire for violent confrontation, the Muslims cancelled the demonstrations and mosque sit-ins planned for previous day. Yet this decision did not stop the regime to unleash the mayhem as it was a preplanned massacre of innocent civilians. These recent killings are yet another episode in the ongoing attack of Ethiopian Muslims for opposing the takeover of their institutions. Last year four people were killed  and dozens were wounded in Asasa town by the security forces, followed by another attack on civilians in town of Gerba where two people were killed.

Dimtsachin Yisema Washington, DC strongly denounces the massacre in Kofele and other parts of Ethiopia and calls on the national and international human right organizations to report on and unequivocally condemn the killings.  We also call upon the international authorities to identify the perpetrators and those responsible for these acts, and bring them to justice.


Dimtsachin Yisema Washington DC Support Committee.


Omer Shifaw


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