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At least five killed as police fire at protest in Ethiopia

Aaron Maasho
Reuters

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – At least five people were killed in a town in Ethiopia’s restive Oromiya region on Thursday after police opened fire during a protest, witnesses said.

Protesters had blocked the main road in Ambo, some 130 km (80 miles) west of the capital Addis Ababa, to demonstrate against sugar shortages, before police arrived to disperse the crowd.

“They (police) then fired live rounds. We know of … five people who died from gunshot wounds,” one of the protesters told Reuters. Another witness said he saw up to 10 wounded people taken to hospital

The regional government’s spokesman confirmed that deaths had occurred, but did not give details.

“Demonstrations happening in Ambo have resulted in death and injuries,” Addisu Arega Kitessa said in a Facebook statement, adding that they were organized by “enemies” of the region.

The province was wracked by protests for months in 2015 and 2016.

Read Aloud:   ESAT Radio Thursday February 26, 2015

Nearly 700 people were killed last year in one bout of unrest provoked by plans to implement a development scheme for Addis Ababa that opponents said amounted to a land grab, according to a parliament-mandated investigation.

Broader anti-government demonstrations over politics and human rights abuse then followed, forcing the government to impose a nine-month state of emergency that was finally lifted in August.

Separately, ethnic clashes killed at least 11 people this week in the same region. Another bout of violence along Oromiya’s border with the country’s Somali region last month displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

The developments highlight tensions in the country where the government has delivered high economic growth but it often accused of curbing political freedoms.

The government denies clamping down on free speech and blames rebel groups and dissidents abroad for stirring up violence.

3 Comments

  1. Reuters, this is not journalism. Why don’t they investigate and say exactly what is happening instead of saying the government is like that and this, it said this and that? We are tired of the excuses of empty rhetoric about double digit economic growth, fight against terrorism. There is no economic growth that is changing the lives of the population. If it is to fill the bank accounts of the very few of TPLF operatives, you cannot call that economic growth. It is a system of mafia that keeps robing everyone’s asset and the resources of the country and then subjugating the people to keep in perpetual poverty. This must end. The West (aka TPLF enablers) are really sick in their head. They are racist to say the least. This a clear conspiracy of the West that they want that impoverished continent stay as impoverished and violence ridden for eternity. That way, they ensure their supremacy by handing over food aides and others. To be perceived as the gods. How on what world with a sane mind cannot understand the endless crimes being perpetuated in Ethiopia? How can a foreign journalist call him/herself as a journalist if it is just to relay what the perpetuates say?

    If the situation has reached at this boiling point, it is not by accident. It is out of the cumulative effect of untold and endless crimes, manipulations, etc. God has mercy to expose who has been behind the inter-ethic conflicts, genocides, massacres. Now everyone knows it. But the foreign journalists are always short of saying it. And the Western leaders are muet as a laisser passez for the acts of TPLF

    • I like your comment but if you write this comment on the wall of the Reuters or on the wall of the Aaron Maasho it will more fruitful.

  2. May the souls these brave fighters for democracy, justice and freedom rest in peace. Your sacrifice will never ever be in vane. Freedom, justice and democracy loving Ethiopians all over the world are with you every step of the way. We are going to fight the criminal/mafia/terrorist TPLF/EPRDF by any means necessary until the bitter end. We are 110% confident of our VICTORY FOR ALL ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE.

    Since terrorist TPLF/EPRDF controls over 99% of ethiopian economy, destroying ethiopian economy should be PRIORITY #1. Destroying ethiopian economy will reduce the power of TPLF/EPRDF by 99% without a single loss of life. So, my patriot brothers an sisters demolish, burn to ashes and totally destroy all properties, businesses, vehicles, trains, rails, roads, energy sources and communication sources that are owned by the colonialist looter TPLF/EPRDF and their associates, colleagues, business partners and hardcore supporters.

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