Press Release ( By Othow Ojulu )

Image From File

In Gambella region there has been a tension between those who support the new PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed and his reform agenda, mainly represented by the youth, and those clinging to the status quo, mainly represented by the regional governor Mr Gatluak Tut, his cronies and the old security apparatus connected with the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF).

Despite demands and outcry from Gambella people for change and good governance in the region, the new PM Dr. Abyi has so far chosen to leave the Gambella region in the hands of the old guards of the TPLF and pay no attention to those supporting his reform agenda.

However, yesterday things got worse. When young people peacefully protested against the imprisonment of their leaders by the regional governor Mr Gatluak Tut, the governor mobilized young people from his Nuer ethnic group to attack the protesters who are mainly from the Anywa ethnic group trying to play it as Anywa-Nuer conflict. As a result, one young Anywa man by name Okello Owar was stabbed to death yesterday evening at 8pm in Gambella town at a place called Omininga by the supporters of Mr Gatluak Tut, the governor of Gambella region.

Today when people peacefully returned from burial of Okello Owar, the military opened fire on them killing 3 and wounding 20 people, 2 in very critical condition. Most of those who were killed and wounded are young people between 10-20 years old including girls. The military simply opened fire on those returning from burial and wounded other people who were simply sitting on the side of road drinking coffee/tea in open areas as people usually do in Gambella.

Everybody was shocked by the action of the military and the reason why they did this. The street they shot the people is very far from the neighbourhood that the Nuer stay in case they thought the young people are going for revenge. The people were simply returning from burial and others had even nothing to do with burial but simply sitting on side of road drinking tea/coffee and chatting with friends. This only points to one reason that these are military and security people from the old guards of TPLF working together with regional governor to destabilize the region and the country as we see in other parts of Ethiopia and also to punish any supporters of Dr. Abyi Ahmed and his reform agenda.

The sad thing is, Dr. Abyi Ahmed does not seem to even care about what is happening in the Gambella region. Despite several calls and warning of eminent attacks from the regional governor and his TPLF backers in the region, he took no action to prevent the killings and has not spoken a word yet about the killing today. It is time for the Prime Minister and his government to clearly state his position again if he is the PM of all Ethiopians or if he is the PM of only limited parts of Ethiopia so people know and they could figure out how to fight for their own freedom with or without him.

Names of people killed

  1. Okello Owar
  2. Ajuda Omod
  3. Anywa Okello
  4. Omod Obach

Names of people wounded!

  1. Emmanuel Agwa
  2. Adiedi Ojulu
  3. Omod Omod Ochogi
  4. Ochogi Omod
  5. Omot Leero
  6. Peter Ojulu
  7. Ochan Biiru
  8. Obang Omod Akway
  9. Kiru Obang
  10. Keech Ojulu
  11. Omot Nyibola
  12. Obang Olum
  13. Omot Met
  14. Okedi Abela Ojwato
  15. Akwor Ochan
  16. Ojo Gala
  17. Omod Cham
  18. Bunga-adiede Ojulu
  19. Birhane Sime
  20. Ariet Ojulu22
  21. Kwot Abel
  22. Akeera Obang

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