Ethiopia: State discovers mass graves in eastern region

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Ethiopia’s Federal Attorney General has revealed the findings of its investigations into crimes committed following the violence that occurred on 4-6 August 2018 in the country’s Somali regional state.

Briefing journalists on Friday, Zinabu Tunu, public relations director at the office of the Attorney General, said a total of 58 people were killed and 266 others injured in the three days of violence.

The office also announced the discovery of mass graves with the remains of 42 people found in one place, and another eight more bodies inside the premises of St. Michael Church in Jigjiga city, the capital of the regional state.

Zinabu said people were “burnt to death, beheaded and buried alive”, during the three-day violence.

According to the PR officer, 46 people, including the region’s former president Abdi Mohammed Omer, aka Abdi Iley who is already in prison and standing trial, are suspected of committing the crimes. Only six of those suspects were arrested, while the remaining suspects are still at large.

In the violence, priests and followers of Christian Orthodox churches in particular were burned alive inside churches, and several women were raped by a youth group called Hego and members of the regional state’s special police, a spokesman for the office further told journalists.

As much as $14.4 million worth of properties were destroyed or robbed from churches, public institutions, residences, and businesses during the violence, the findings revealed.

The investigation team also discovered several crimes committed prior to the start of the violence, including a mass grave containing 200 victims, said the PR officer.


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