Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said his government is hunting people who were involved in committing crimes against humanity and robbing the wealth of the nation. The premier’s statement followed the imprisonment of 38 people arrested on suspicion of human rights abuses of prisoners including “beatings, forced confessions, sodomy, rape, electrocution and even killings.”
In an attempt to crack down on a chain of corruption involving billions of dollars, the government has also arrested 30 former army officers, their business associates and brokers who were involved in illicit financial transfers out of the country and abusing their duties and responsibilities while running a military enterprise known as Metal Engineering Technology Corporation.
In a statement released by his office on November 15th entitled “Let’s Fight Cancer,” Abiy said the government has been doing its level best to bring criminals to justice, including those who masterminded the attack at the June 23rd rally in Addis Ababa.
Abiy said the government will continue its crackdown on suspects of corruption and human rights abuses in line with the government’s responsibility to ensure the rule of law in response to public demand. “Our country should not be a place where some of its citizens become billionaires whilst the other citizens get their daily meal from a garbage can,” Abiy said, adding Ethiopia will not be a country where criminals live in dignity.
The statement added that criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality. They only care for themselves. The key to justice is to create a system where innocent citizens live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law, the statement continued.
The objective of the campaign is to free the country from the shackles of corruption and address underlying human rights violations. The statement called on Ethiopians to support the efforts of the government to hold criminals to account.
In a briefing On November 12th, Attorney General Berhanu Tsegay said the government has been gathering evidence for the last five months on those people involved in crimes against humanity and embezzlement of public resources. There are still suspects hiding in the country and abroad.
As the crimes allegedly committed were outlawed by international legisation to which Ethiopia is signatory, the government is discussing with different countries how to bring those hiding abroad to justice, the Attorney General said.