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Ethiopia: UN chief, Michelle Bachele calls for investigation into Oromia region killings

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The United Nations rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, has called on Ethiopian authorities to allow an independent investigation into recent killings of civilians in the village of Tole, West Wellega in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.

Bachelet made the position in a statement on Thursaday while referring to the killing as “senseless”.

The attack adds to the forced displacement of the local population in the attack on Tole village. One of the survivors, Nur Hussein Abdi narrating his ordeals said “the militants assured us that they will not touch us. They said they are not after us, but in reality, they were surrounding our whole village for a deadly massacre. What happened the next day was a total bloodbath.”

Hundreds of people belonging to the Amhara ethnic group were reportedly killed by rebels, with bodies still lying on the streets after hours of violence.

Bachelet claimed that armed forces abducted civilians during the attack and called for their release.

“I call on the authorities to take all necessary and lawful measures to ensure those abducted regain their freedom,” she said.

She also urged the Ethiopian authorities to conduct a quick, impartial, and thorough investigation to ensure justice.
“I call on the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that investigations are promptly launched into the attack and to ensure that victims and their families have a right to truth, justice, and reparations, including by holding those responsible to account.”

The Ethiopian government has accused the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) of the deadly raid on Tole village and promised swift measures against the “ethnically-motivated” attacks.

The Oromo Liberation Army is an armed opposition group active in Ethiopia. The OLA consist primarily of former armed members of the pre-peace deal OLF who chose to continue the armed struggle against the government.

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Over 150 endangered vultures poisoned to death in South Africa, Botswana

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Not less than 150 endangered vultures in South Africa and Botswana have been poisoned to death, according to conservationists who warned that the mass killings could push the birds closer to extinction faster.

A conservation group, Vulpro which raised the alarm on Friday, said the vultures were poisoned in separate incidents.

The group said more than 50 white-backed vultures were found dead in Botswana’s northern Chobe district on Friday, while about 100 others were discovered in South Africa’s Kruger National Park the same day.

“The repercussions of these poisonings are huge. It’s breeding season so their chicks will not survive and breeding pairs have been lost for good,” the organisation wrote in a tweet.

“Vulture populations cannot withstand these losses and the threat of extinction creeps ever closer,” it wrote in another tweet.

Vulpro’s founder, Kerri Wolter, who expressed worries over the attacks, said in both cases, the birds died after feeding from the carcass of a buffalo, which appeared to have been laced with poison.

Park officials in South Africa said they were investigating the incident, adding some of the carcasses appeared to have been harvested for their body parts.

According to a wildlife group in South Africa, vulture poisoning is very common in the southern African region as the heads and other vital parts are used in preparing traditional medicine.

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Authorities capture over 250 fleeing prisoners days after Congo DR, Beni jailbreak

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Report from the Democratic Republic of Congo says over 250 inmates of the over 800 who escaped from a prison in the jailbreak on Wednesday have been captured.

The prison authority on Thursday presented 166 of the inmates in addition to the 86 other fugitives who had earlier been captured with the help of the public.

Man hunt is still on for remaining inmates.

Military sources confirmed on Wednesday that the prison break happened in eastern region the country.

Spokesman of the army in Beni, Captain Antony Mualushayi, said “a group of unidentified Mayi-Mayi attacked the central prison of Kakwangura in the town of Butembo. Two policemen on guard duty were killed.”

According to the United Nations, more than 100 armed groups and local militias operate in eastern DRC.

IS affiliated group, ADF has admitted it was behind the attack as suggested earlier by the army.

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