Friday, March 25, 2005

Government Troops Committed Crimes in Gambella, Says HRW

Ethiopian troops committed widespread killings, rape and torture against the indigenous Anyuak population in an oil-rich western province, a rights group said on Thursday. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said numerous attacks by soldiers and civilians from other ethnic groups killed more than 500 people in the Gambella region in 2003 and 2004, bordering Sudan. However, the government dismissed the report. "The situation in Gambella is settled and everything is peaceful now," government spokesman, Zemedkun Teckle, told IRIN. "The people there are living peacefully right now. We are very surprised [and] do not understand why Human Rights Watch is now trying to ignite this issue."

Reuters AlertNet

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