Connect with us

Ethiopia

Ethiopia protesters defy security to march over deaths in Amhara State

Published

on

AFRICA NEWS — There is still tension arising from deaths reported in Ethiopia’s Amhara region after security forces shot and killed a number of protesters on Saturday.

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets a day after the incident to protest against the security action that led to the deaths. The Reporter news portal in Ethiopia says it had reports that gunshots were still being heard in the town of Woldiya.

A local portal, the Addis Gazetta shared a phot that showed people on the streets of Woldiya where the incident took place. It is located about 510 km away from the capital, Addis Ababa.

The young people who were singing and dancing as they marched through the town as part of a religious event changed their songs to anti-government chants and songs leading to the clash and subsequent deaths.

The casualty figure, which ranges between five and over a dozen, is said to be rising according to local news sources. Federal security forces reportedly opened fire on young people who were partaking in a religious ceremony, the Epiphany.

The spokesperson of the Amhara region confirmed the deaths and added that there was a probe underway to ascertain the true facts on the issue. Perpetrators will be brought to book, he added.

Reports say there has been heavy federal and regional security forces in Amhara state since last December following skirmishes at a football match. The region also experienced disturbances in its universities in what was described as ethnic-based attacks.

Amhara located in the country’s north was along with Oromia, the heart of anti-government protests that shook the country between 2015 and much of 2016. The protests led to an October 2016 state of emergency lifted in August 2017.

Ethiopia

What triggered unrest in Ethiopia? INSIDE STORY

Published

on

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s surprise resignation came after sustained anti-government protests in the East African country.

While the government considers who will take his place, it has imposed a state of emergency for the next six months.

Ethiopia is the second most populous country in the African continent, with 100 million people in more than 40 ethnic groups.

The two largest groups, the Oromo and the Amhara, make up around two-thirds of all Ethiopians.

Tigrayans account for just six percent of the population but they dominate politics and the security forces.

It’s a 25-year-old arrangement but one that is causing a great deal of resentment among the other groups.

So, what’s next for Ethiopia?

Continue Reading

Ethiopia

No Ethiopia military takeover, minister says amid emergency

Published

on

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia’s defense minister has ruled out a military takeover a day after the East African nation declared a new state of emergency amid the worst anti-government protests in a quarter-century.

Siraj Fegessa on Saturday also ruled out a transitional government. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn remains in the post for now after making the surprise announcement Thursday that he had submitted a resignation letter to help planned political reforms in one of Africa’s best-performing economies succeed.

The state of emergency will last for six months with a possible four-month extension, similar to one lifted in August, the defense minister said.

The new state of emergency, which effectively bans protests, will be presented for lawmakers’ approval within 15 days. Siraj said security forces have been instructed to take “measures” against those disturbing the country’s functioning, with a new special court established to try them.

Ethiopia’s cabinet on Friday cited deaths, ethnic attacks and mass displacement as reasons for the latest state of emergency. The announcement followed crippling protests in towns across the restive Oromia region on Monday and Tuesday that called for the release of political prisoners and urged the government to carry out rapid reforms.
Similar protests have taken place across Ethiopia since late 2015, leading the government to declare a state of emergency in October 2016 after hundreds of people reportedly had been killed. A stampede at a religious event southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa, that month claimed the lives of several dozen people.

That state of emergency led to the arrest of more than 22,000 people and severely affected business.

Rights groups alleged that people were beaten and subjected to arbitrary detentions. The government said those arrested by mistake were released and those who unwillingly took part in the unrest were released after what it described as “trainings.”

The United States has responded to the latest unrest by warning its embassy personnel to suspend all travel outside of the capital. And Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting corporate reported that the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, met and discussed current political issues with Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu in New York.

Befekadu Hailu, a prominent blogger who has been jailed for his writings, urged Ethiopia’s government to “carry out genuine reforms, negotiate with legitimate opposition groups and prepare the country for a free and fair election” to solve the unrest.

The new state of emergency will create a group of people with conflicting interests, Befekadu said. “The state of emergency was tested a year ago. It brings temporary silence but not normalcy.”

Continue Reading

Ethiopia

U.S. Embassy Statement on the Ethiopian Government’s Declared State of Emergency

Published

on

We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government’s decision to impose a state of emergency that includes restrictions on fundamental rights such as assembly and expression.

We recognize and share concerns expressed by the government about incidents of violence and loss of life, but firmly believe that the answer is greater freedom, not less.

The challenges facing Ethiopia, whether to democratic reform, economic growth, or lasting stability, are best addressed through inclusive discourse and political processes, rather than through the imposition of restrictions.

The declaration of a state of emergency undermines recent positive steps toward creating a more inclusive political space, including the release of thousands of prisoners. Restrictions on the ability of the Ethiopian people to express themselves peacefully sends a message that they are not being heard.

We strongly urge the government to rethink this approach and identify other means to protect lives and property while preserving, and indeed expanding, the space for meaningful dialogue and political participation that can pave the way to a lasting democracy.

Continue Reading

TRENDING