The US embassy described the situation in Shashemane as “violent protest”
borkena, Ethiopia News
Update on October 12,2017
Ethiopian government security forces killed a total of eight people after a fresh protest across towns in Oromia regional state of Ethiopia. Five of them were killed in Shashemene 250 kilometers South of the capital Addis Ababa and three of them are killed in Boketi town in Harrar region, in southeastern Ethiopia, reported Addis Standard,local newspaper,citing social media update from Addisu Agera, head of Oromia regional government communication affairs Bureau. Thirty people are wounded, the report added.
The US embassy in Addis Ababa confirmed that there is violent protest around Shashemane. In a statement published on its website, the embassy alerted US citizens to avoid traveling to Shashemane area. The statement indicated that there are road closures in and around Shashemane and reports of causalities. The embassy also advised its citizens to “Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.”
There was a similar protest in Ambo, a town 125 kilometers south west of Addis Ababa with a history of persistent opposition to the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Amateur video footage of the protest in Ambo emerged in social media this morning. But there was no reported causality from Ambo protest. Protestors chanted anti-government slogans. Protestors were specifically opposing Tigray People’s Liberation Front, master of the ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Police in Ambo town showed no hostility or opposition to the protest; there were rather seen in the crowd – tacitly showing their support.
There are also reported protests in Arsi regions but no reports of causality so far. DW reported about the protest in Dodola. Police and city administration were reportedly among the protestors.
Common features to all the protest in oromia region of Ethiopia is that they are particularly targetted against the TPLF regime and they call for the release of people like professor Merera Gudina and Bekele Gerba.
At times the protestors show radical ethno-nationalist sentiment by way of waving the flag of Oromo Liberation Front which calls for the secession Oromo speaking parts from the rest of Ethiopia. Some observers say that the radical elements are supported by foreign powers in the middle east.
Ethiopia was under a state of emergency for nearly a year after a violent countrywide anti-government protest in 2016 which caused the death of more than 1000 civilians when government deployed snipers opened fire on protestors.
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