Unprecedented demonstrations are planned for August 6 and 7 across many towns in Oromo regions of Ethiopia. Similar demonstrations are planned in Bahir Dar City and Debre Tabor in Amhara regions of Ethiopia.
Information emerging in social media suggest that preparations for the demonstrations are finalized in the above mentioned parts of Ethiopia.
Ruling party authorities in the respective regions reportedly stated that they have not received permission request bodies that are organizing the demonstrations.
To what extent would the demonstration would be peaceful? From Gonder protest last week, it is not hard to predict that the demonstrations would be as peaceful as the regime wants them to be and it seems impossible for the regime not to allow the demonstrations to happen.
Foreigners in Ethiopia are alerted about the situation. Canada reportedly issued alerts for its citizens in Ethiopia. OSAC , US based Overseas Security Advisory Council, issued a statement today to US citizens in Ethiopia.
Background to the protests in Oromo region and Amhara regions of Ethiopia
While Ethiopia’s donors reacted with no semblance of concern following what was announced as a 100 % general election win by the ruling party in Ethiopia, there was congratulatory message and celebration like thing by actors in Africa like the African Union (AU).
Barely a year after the general election, nearly the opposite of what could happen in a country whose government claimed 100 % election win came to the fore and in most parts of Ethiopia.
It does not seem to be easy to take to the street in Ethiopia. Since nine months ago, Oromo speaking parts of Ethiopia have been protesting against government and paid in life for it ; at least 600 civilians are killed.
Although the spark to the incident is related to Addis Ababa’s Master plan, which is said to have a detrimental effect on the livelihood of small scale farmers in the adjacent areas of Addis Ababa, the basic cause for the wide spread protest is related to political and economic grievances.
July of this year, the protest shifted to North Western parts of Ethiopia, Gondar. Protest in Gonder broke out following the move by the ruling party to make an arrest of Wolqaite Question committee members. According to leaked information shared by ESAT, about 19 members of security forces were killed during an exchange of fire with some members of the Wolkaite Question committee members and their supporters.
Last week, the city of Gonder witnessed a massive demonstration that is said to be the first of its kind since the 2005 Ethiopian election which was followed by nation wide demonstration. Government is noticeably shocked by the magnitude and power of the protest.
What is coming could be even more bigger.
What is the demand?
Many activists in Ethiopia seem to be in agreement that the protests are delayed reactions to unparalleled repressions in the history of Ethiopia.
Demands are both economic and political nature. In fact, there is something political even behind the economic demands.
Now people have reached to the point the regime is unable or unwilling to address the political and economic grievances – perhaps a reason why protesters an end to what they call TPLF government.
Intransigence of the regime not to share power or address grievances seem to be taking Ethiopia to a predictably chaotic political situation that will prove to be hard to reverse.
borkena will cover news of protests on Saturday and Sunday. Like us on Facebook and get your updates.