Kobo: Security forces again kill unarmed civilians
By Ethiomedia
January 26, 2018

Yosef Eshetu, 13, was the target of a TPLF sniper in Woldia town last Saturday. The kid was returning home after a church festival. The wanton killings in Woldia sparked anger and protests in Kobo and Mersa where dozens were again killed by TPLF forces.
KOBO - Helicopter gunships on Thursday hovered over the town of Kobo, 588 km north of Addis Ababa, spitting gunfire as a show of force against the town's unarmed residents who were protesting government crimes in neighboring town of Woldia where at least 12 were killed last Saturday.

In Kobo itself, seven people were killed, including and a child and a security officer on Thursday.

Scores of businesses owned by individuals suspected as TPLF collaborators were burned down or destroyed. Also destroyed were a court house, municipality, local administration offices, two EFFORT/TPLF warehouses and a chain of boutiques or stores. Homes of alleged government collaborators were also burned down.

Gunshots were being fired when the town came under the control of soldiers reportedly rushed to the scene from the front lines along the border with Eritrea.

Observers said the soldiers were acting like they were in a war zone against a foreign enemy and not unarmed civilians whose legitimate demands were what could be dismissed as rudimentary questions in other parts of the world.

Heartbreaking stories of government victims in Woldia have flooded the social media. Among the gruesome deaths include the killing of a 13-year-old youth, Yosef Eshetu, who was sporting the sign of a cross on his forehead after he returned from a church. He was an easy target of a TPLF sniper. The kid was sitting on top of a pickup truck when he was shot dead. There was also the killing of Gebremeskel Getachew, a 36-year-old promising businessman and father of a baby girl. He was returning home and walking alone on a road where there was no protest when he was riddled with five bullets. This shows that there was also a 'targeted killing' of individuals suspected of harboring anti-TPLF views.

"A single bullet would have been enough to kill my son," a sobbing dad told the Voice of America on Thursday. But the crime didn't end there. The next day for the funeral, security forces surprised the mourners with machinegun fire and dispersed them. The father alone remained with the body of his son, and a few defiant souls returned, carrying the casket to its final destination.

The parents of the three Woldia victims talking to the VOA Amharic Service said they would push for the killers of their children to be brought to justice.

TPLF, which controls the economy, military and intelligence, has been in power since 1991, heavily relying on the reign of terror. TPLF has never showed any sign of stepping down despite deep-seated resentment and fierce opposition throughout the country. There are mounting fears that the group, known for sowing the seeds of ethnic hate and division, may opt for a civil war than pave the way for a peaceful transfer of power through election.

A detailed report of the Kobo killings will be published in a day or two.




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