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Ethiopia adopts 2016 protest report, ‘harsh’ security officers to be prosecuted

The House of People’s Representatives (HPR) – the Ethiopian parliament – has approved recommendations surrounding protest deaths as presented by the country’s rights commission’s recent report.

The Ethiopia Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on Tuesday submitted its report on the Amhara and Oromia protests that threatened the security of the country last year.

The main recommendation which the HPR backed was for ‘members of the security forces who used excessive force in the unrest to face justice,’ the state-owned FBC reported.

Other areas the legislators touched on included the need to rehabilitate persons displaced by the events and to prosecute all persons and institutions who took part in the unrest.

The parliament also decided that two parties – Blue Party and the Oromo Federalist Congress – be held responsible for playing ‘unsettling roles’ in violence activities in the town of Bahir Dar and Oromia regional state.

The Horn of Africa nation imposed a six-month state-of-emergency to help quell the protests. The EHRC said the total number of casualties – protesters and security officials – stood at 669, a figure that activists dispute.

Addis Ababa flatly refused to open its doors to independent investigators from the United Nations and the European Union. The Premier Hailemariam Desalegn has insisted that internal mechanisms were capable of probing the unrest.

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