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Death toll from Chelenko reaches 15 as two students are killed at Wollega University

At least two students killed at Wollega University
At least one civilian killed in Wurgessa, north-central Ethiopia

Wollga University - Ethiopia
Wollega University, Ethiopia

Ethiopian News
December 12,2017

The death toll from yesterday’s massacre in Chelenko, Hararge region in South Eastern Ethiopia, reaches 15, according to report by Addis Standard which cited Oromo regional state communication head, Addisu Arega.

Fifteen more civilians are wounded; some are in life-threatening conditions, according to the report.

Ethiopian Satellite Television puts the number of deaths from Chelenko to 18 and cites sources from the region.

The regional government communication head is cited by Addis Standard as saying that the regional government is investigating the killings of “…peaceful civilians” as cited by the aforementioned local newspaper.

    “Addisu implicated the role of members of the national defense force but the locals say the killings were also committed by members of the Liyu Police operating in Ethio-Somali regional state and is accused of committing perpetual violence against civilians,”

wrote Addis Standard.

Deployed security forces opened fire at protesters, who took to the street in the town of Chelenko after a young man, Addisu Arega identified the victim as Ahimad Asaasaa, was reportedly shot dead by Somali region special forces, yesterday. The protestors were blocking the road with rocks, apparently to check the movement of military and security forces.

In a related development, at least one person is killed by security forces in Wurgesa in North central Ethiopia when security forces opened fire at peaceful protestors according to report by Ethiopian Satellite Television. Five civilians sustained life-threatening wounds.

The protestors were calling for the release of youngsters who were arrested following a crackdown in Woldia after a clash between fans of Mekelle City and Woldia city soccer teams.

They also called for Mekelle city fans, whom they believe have caused the situation in Woldia last week when they throw ethnic slurs against Amhara, be apprehended for their actions.

Two students killed at Wollega University

Social media reports coming from Ethiopia indicate that the situation across Ethiopian Universities is deteriorating.

Students in many of the universities in all corners of the country are protesting and some universities are essentially closed as the teaching-learning process came to a halt for many weeks now.

The situation was aggravated over the weekend after a student from Gojam region of Ethiopia was killed (thrown from a building by a group of radical Tigrean students,as some say) at Adigrat University in what appears to be vengeance for the alleged killing of Mekelle city fan in Woldia, as it emerged later, but the university administration claimed that the clash was started because of an incident during a celebration of “nations and nationalities” day in the university.

Students from the University reported that many students of Amhara and Oromo origin had to lock themselves up in their dormitory for fear of attack by Tigrean mob, movement in the university campus is difficult and they were not allowed to leave the university campus.

It was in such a situation that two students were killed at Shambu campus of Wollega university, in Oromo region of Ethiopia, yesterday. The communication head of the region, Addisu Arega, confirmed the death of students in his facebook update.

He said that it happened following a clash between students and claimed that the regional state arrested several suspects. But he did not mention as to what caused the violence in the first place and did not disclose the identities of the victims either. But there are rumors that the students killed at Wollega University are of Tigray ethnic origin.

Other sources suggest the number of students killed at Wollega university is more than two. Daniel Berhane, a famous Tigray Peoples Liberation Front fan, who rather acts as a mouthpiece, with alleged links to the security apparatus and access to information( he also runs Horn Affairs blog), wrote in his facebook update today “At least two students killed in Wollega University last night.” But this time, he did not mention the ethnic identities of killed students. In another update, he wrote, “The crisis in the country is evidently beyond PM Hailemariam Desalegn’s leadership capacity.”

Ruling Party Meeting

Executives of the ruling coalition (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front – EPRDF) are having a meeting since yesterday.

Government-affiliated news outlets in the country reported that the party is poised to pass “unprecedented and strong decisions.”

In that vein, political analysts and activists speculate that the party will make arrests of senior officials from Oromo, Amhara and Somali regions of Ethiopia.

With regards to Hailemariam Desalegne, who used to be an engineering lecturer at Arbaminch University, he is widely criticized within the party as incompetent and there are speculations that the party might do away with him as prime minister and chairman of the ruling coalition.

Unlike under the late Meles Zenawi, there are currently three deputy prime-ministers – an arrangement that was made to cater for ethnic composition 0f the four member parties of the ruling party in the office of the prime minister.

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