ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Ethiopia has launched its own investigation into human rights violations allegedly committed by its security forces, local media reported on Tuesday.

The probe was started after a report by global rights group Amnesty International accusing the Ethiopian forces of committing “grave violations between December 2018 and December 2019” in Oromia and Amhara regions.

Federal Attorney-General Adanech Abebe said the government respects human rights as a “matter of principle and not for the sake of face-saving,” according to local broadcaster FANA.

“We have looked at the report of Amnesty International and have started our own investigation on the matter. Now, we are working on finalizing our investigation and checking the content and process of the report for actuality and neutrality,” she was quoted as saying.

She said the government was willing to “take the necessary steps” to address any problem rightly identified by the rights group.

But Abebe said Amnesty International will be approached for corrections if the “report is false or exaggerated.”

“If correction proves impossible, we shall present the truth with its respective proof so that our people, and the world, are aware,” she added.

The Amnesty International report said the Ethiopian security forces committed excesses “despite reforms which led to the release of thousands of detainees, expansion of the civic and political space and repeal of draconian laws … previously used to repress human rights.”

It urged the government to launch an independent investigation to ascertain the truth of the matter.

Since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s reformist leader and Nobel Laureate for Peace, rose to power in April 2018, there have been clashes in various parts of the country, displacing nearly 3 million people.

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