Residents of Arerti town,Minjar, adjacent to Oromia regions and Hageremariam, in north Shoa took to the street today. What triggered the protest is two weeks long blackout in the region and lack of basic infrastructural facilities.
Then the protest degenerated to violence after a while.
Chinese owned chip-wood factory is reportedly set on fire and vehicles in the factor ground were burned. Two individuals reportedly sustained wounds and are currently in hospital. It is not clear if it is the protesters who set the factory in fire. No investigation is kicked off as yet. Estimate of the damage is unknown at this writing.
Demands by the youth constitute economic and political grievances. The way employment creation fund and employment projects are run seem to be contrary to the interests of the youth which they opposed during the protest.
The regional government communication head, Nigussu Tilahu, confirmed news of the protest in Arerti in a facebook update. As well he confirmed that a factory is burned and vehicles destroyed.
This is the first protest in Amhara region of Ethiopia since government militarized Gonder following a wide spread protest over the status of Wolkaite Tegede – a district in Gonder which was forcefully incorporated to Tigray region.
There have been protests across many towns in Oromo region of Ethiopia for more than two weeks and government securities killed dozens of civilians . Arerti town is adjacent to Oromia region.
For the government, protests are either reactions to “bad governance” or they are orchestrations by what it call “rent seekers and anti-peace forces.”
However, protesters have been laud and clear for more than two years now that they need an end to the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front which has been ruling Ethiopian with iron fist for more than twenty seven under the guise of ruling coalition – EPRDF.
Political observers tend to think that protests will not go away since fundamental issues that caused them are not addressed by the government.
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