Wednesday, October 4, 2023

OLF Central Committee member killed in Finfinne; party calls for independent investigation.

Unknown armed men shot and injured Moibone Bekele, a member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) Central Committee in front of his home in Burayu, a town in the special zone surrounding Finfinne. Moibone was rushed to Abet Hospital in the capital but succumbed to his injuries. 

Moibone, an author and a community organizer well-known for his human rights activism, had been in the infamous Me’ikelawi prison under the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) regime. He was imprisoned again under the regime of PM Abiy Ahmed before being released on February 17, 2022. 

Following his release from his most recent incarceration, he told his close friends that he had received warnings from officials, “They told me that if I write anything from now on they will not even jail me.” Moibone, unbothered by the threats, continued to be active on social media raising awareness about the ongoing human rights violations across Oromia. 

People gathered around as Moibone Bekele's dead body was leaves Abet Hospital in Finfinne. Thursday, October 13, 2022.
People gathered around as Moibone Bekele’s dead body leaves Abet Hospital in Finfinne. Thursday, October 13, 2022. Source: Social Media.

According to sources, as a result of his activism, his family were subject to harassment and intimidation by regional and federal security forces. 

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) expressed its sadness at the loss of its member, adding, Moibone was “a vibrant young man. We send our deep-felt condolences to his family, comrades-in-struggle, and the Oromo at large.” 

In addition, the statement called on human rights organizations and other concerned bodies to conduct an independent investigation into his killing.

The killing of Moibone at the hands of security forces comes in the backdrop of recent crackdown on Oromo scholarspublic figures and amid growing dissatisfaction among urban Oromos with the deadly civil war in Western and Southern Oromia, and drought and conscriptions of Oromo youth in the East to fight in the Tigray war. 

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