Addis Ababa — Ministry of Defense said it is going to investigate the tragic death of civilians in West Gondar Zone of Amhara Regional State early this week.
Briefing journalists today, Ethiopian National Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff, General Berhanu Jula said the incident happened while members of the National Defense Forces were escorting the local road contractor, Sur Construction Company, to another location.
Following the insistence of the residents of Genda Wuha in West Gonder Zone that the company gets searched before it departs the locality, General Berhanu said security forces and the inhabitants were jointly searching the cars when gunshot was heard from another location. That triggered the death of innocent civilians which has to be investigated.
The Deputy Chief of Staff stressed that the Ethiopian Defense Forces are disciplined and never fire on innocent people. "I don't believe that the security forces have committed this tragic killing," he added.
An investigative team drawn from different stakeholders is being established and the defense forces will take the necessary measures based on the finding, according to General Berhanu.
"If this atrocity was committed by members of the defense forces, they will be accountable. We will also compensate the family of the victims," the Deputy Chief of Staff stated.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Defense Forces have also been disarming the fighters of Shene Wing of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) led by Dawed Ibssa in West Oromia Regional state.
According to General Berhanu, although the faction pledged to engage in peaceful struggle when it returned home after two decades of exile, it has been committing many killings and robberies in the region.
The Deputy Chief of Staff also condemned provocative acts of political forces who mobilized the youth and residents of Zalambessa and Shire towns in Tigray Regional State to block the movement of the army.
The army solved the problem peacefully as these "were not the intentions of the public. And the residents asked the army apology for the unwarranted acts."