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Federal High Court sets former Gambella regional police commissioner Abula Ubang free

Abula Ubong, former Gambella regional police commissioner

Addis Abeba – The Federal High Court Lideta Division First Constitutional and Terrorism Criminal Bench acquitted former Gambella regional Police Commissioner Abula Ubang, citing insufficient evidence, according to media reports.

On 24 March, 2023, the Gambella regional police commission announced that Abula Ubang, the former Gambella Regional Police Commissioner, Tut Kor, the former deputy commissioner of the Gambella regional police commission, and 13 officers, as well as civilian leaders, were arrested suspected of complying with the human rights violations committed during the 14 June 2022 incident.

A report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that, between the afternoon of 14 and 16 June, 2022, action taken mainly by government forces killed at least 50 civilians who were accused of “hiding Shene fighters and weapons in their homes.” The report added that women and mentally ill individuals were among the victims.

The 15 suspects were charged with violations of the Geneva Conventions protocol regarding the protection of innocent people during wartime as well as violations of the criminal law, specifically Articles 32/1(a) and (b), Article 35, and Article 270.

Accordingly, the court acquitted former Gambela Regional Police Commissioner Abula Ubang, citing insufficient evidence. Two other defendants, former Special Force member Colonel Atore Gur and former Gambela Police member Sergeant Chode Bengen, were acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

However, the court found the remaining 12 suspects guilty and scheduled a follow-up hearing for 17 July, 2024, for sentencing. AS

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