Ethiopian University students protesting after a student is killed in Adigrat University

Fours students reported killed at Woldia University as they protest the killing in Adigrat University

Ethiopian News
December 11,2017

Adigrat University - Ethiopia
Adigrat University, Tigray, Ethiopia

The parents of Habtamu Yalew Senshaw perhaps hoped for something good for their son who was pursuing management degree, in his second year, at Adigrat University in Tigray. But their hopes were dashed as their son was brutally killed in the university ground by a group of students, whom the university administration say are in custody, in an apparent ethnic based violence and they had to receive his body.

The identities of students in custody in connection with the killing is not released by the University administration so far.

The reactions of students in other universities in the country is that of anger. At least four universities are undertaking protest in to oppose the senseless and ethnically motivated killings of Habtamu Yalew.

A report by Amharic service of Voice of America and BBC Amharic service indicate that students in Woldia University, Gonder University and Ambo University stopped class to protest the killing.

Students in Woldia University started protesting since Sunday. Social media sources report that there was clash with students from Tigray region, the ethnic base of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and Agazi forces were deployed to the university and there was gunfire all night. Citing anonymous students, BBC Amharic reported that students were hurt but did not specify the nature of it. Ethiopian Satellite Television, based in the United States, reported this evening that at least four students are killed at Woldia University.

Social media report from Woldia say that Ethnic Tigray students are taken to the city’s stadium for their safety following the clash.

Similarly, Gonder University students staged demonstration to condemn the killing at Adigrat University. The protest was more vocal as students called for an end to what they call TPLF regime in the country. Again government deployed security forces to the university which apparently aggravated the situation. Still in the region of Gonder, Debretabor University protested and a building caught fire.

Gonder University - Ethiopia
Students protesting at Gondar University

In central Ethiopia, students in the main campus of Ambo University similarly opposed the killing in a university in Tigray and stopped classes. The city of Ambo has been fiercely opposing the ruling party for years now and has a fresh memory killings of civilians last month.

Adigrat University administration claims that the tension is under control and that only one student, as mentioned above, is killed.
However, students say that the situation in the university is threatening and they say that the number of students killed by a mob is ten, not one.

As reported by borkena this week, students in universities in the Southwest and South Eastern parts of the country have stopped classes for weeks now on grounds of security concerns following rising ethnic tension.

Fundamental causes of protest

The protests in the universities, mentioned above, over the last forty-eight hours is triggered by the death of Habtamu Yalew Senshaw but the fundamental cause is opposition for the regime in power which has been going on literally for decades.

The TPLF minority regime, which represents only 6 % of the entire population, has been opposed for its ethno-supremacist aspirations and ethnic based discriminatory administration that manifested itself in the form of unfair wealth creation for Tigray region and infrastructure development, among other things, at the expense of the rest of Ethiopia.

The party itself has created well over $6 billion dollars’ worth of Business Empire in addition to wealth created by individuals with affiliations, relations and connection to TPLF power elites.

In terms of government structure, key positions and the entire security apparatus is under the control of the party. The protest against TPLF has been mounting since the last two years but the party understood the protests as “works of anti-peace” forces – not a quest for justice.

After two months of secretive and acrimonious politburo meeting and performance evaluation of TPLF executives in Mekelle city, there was some anticipation that the party would think differently about the demands for change. As it turns out, the party changed the chairman and a few other executives, not policies or its aspiration for supremacy.

Ethnic based federalism that the party nurtured and entrenched as a means to maintain a hold in power is not helping it this time around as exploiting manufactured differences are no more working.

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