At least three students are rportedly killed Adigrat University as ethnic based violence rises
Emerging social media reports claim that several students of Amhara and Oromo ethnic orign are killed at Adigrat University, in Tigray, north Ethiopia, following ethnic violence that is allegedly provoked by students from Tigray region.
One of the victims is identifeid as Habtamu Yalew, who was from western Gojjam in Amhara regional state. Apparently, he died in hospital after he was beaten up what activists in social media described as “radical ethno-supermacist Tigrieans.” The identities of the rest of the victims is not disclosed as thier parents are not informed about it.
Amharic service of Germany’s broadcaster,Deutsche Welle, cited the university’s public and international relation office director,Yohannes Kebede, in its social media report today which confirmed the death of one student. He is cited as saying the violence started when students were throwing words at each other during “Nations and nationalities day” – a political festival which the ruling party introduced a litter over a decade ago to celebrate ethnicity. This year’s festival was celebrated this week in Semera, Afar region of Ethiopia where a German tourist was killed by gunmen this past week.
Yohannes Kebede further told DW Amharic service that about 100 students,from other parts of Ethiopia apparently, ,who were threatened by the violence in the university campus ground,requested the University administration permission to vacate the university which suggest that they were not allowed to leave the campus.
But Yohanes denied that there was ethnic based attack as reported on social media and added that the problem is under control after the intervention ofsecurity forces and “elders and religious leaders.” Amhara activists on social media tend to think that students from other regions of Ethiopia should leave universities in Tigray for thier safety and security.
There has been tension in the Universtiy for more than three days now. US based Ethipoian Satellite Television (ESAT) reported it on social media yesterday. But none of Ethiopian government broadcasters and affiliated media did not report about it at this writing.
Last week, fans of Mekelle city soccer team clashed with fans of Woldia city team after they allegedly threw ethnic based slurs to derogage fans of the host city. Consequently, the match was cancelled following the incident which reportedly left one Tigrean fan dead.
A number of Ethiopian Universities in Southe Eastern, Southwestern and central Ethiopia are struggling to return students to capmus after students left on safety and security grounds a few weeks ago.
Sport centers and university campuses have increasingly turned out to be scenes of violent ethnic clashes.
Genrally, reports from Ethiopia seem to suggest that ethnic tension in Ethiopian universities is unlikely to go away and some tend to see it as a reflection of the situation in the country.
Clearly, at this point the ethnic tension in the country is not one big explosion as was the case in the case of Rwanda a few decads ago but it is gradually evolving to a level that can became a menance to the country. Ethnic based violece has become rife, which is unprecedented in the history of the country and thousands are affected by it. The conflict in Somali and Oromia region displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
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