Ethiopia: Dozens of University students feared dead due to government crackdown

Unconfirmed reports on social media claim that the ruling TPLF special forces shot dead about 30 students in the Ethiopian town of Ambo.

Reporters of Amharic service of the Voice of America (VOA) spoke to eyewitness on condition of anonymity. The eyewitnesses confirmed students protest and killings of students by government forces but did not give numbers.

Students at Ambo University, Metu University, Alemaya Universiy, Adama University, Dire Dawa University, Jimma University,Wellega University with its branches in Negemte and Gimbi, and Meda Wolabu and Bure Bora high school students staged demonstrations.

The immediate cause of the protest has a lot to do with the new master plan for the city of Addis Ababa which, according to protesting students, is prone to transfer land from Oromia region to Addis Ababa city administration. The Federal states of Ethiopia are strictly instituted on the basis of ethnicity. Addis Ababa is not part to the ethnically structured regions.

According to VOA Amharic, Oromo Federal National Congress, one of the biggest ethnic based opposition parties in Ethiopia, indicated the number of death as six by the time the report was done. But with life threatening woulds the number is clearly much higher.

Tragic incidents like these are not unheard of in Ethiopia. In 2001, more than 41 students and civilians were killed in Addis Ababa . In 2005 more than 200 were killed and well over thousand civilians wounded.

by Dimetros Birku

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