The United States embassy in Ethiopia issued another statement today in which it called for the Ethiopian government to “hold accountable those responsible for violence” in Ethiopian Universities and in the town of Chelenko, where fifteen civilians were shot dead by government deployed security forces and fifteen others were injured.
The statement also encouraged Ethiopians to carry on the long-standing traditions of respect for ethnic diversity and peaceful co-existence. Today’s statement reads as follows :
- We are troubled and saddened by reports of violence that has resulted in deaths and injuries in the town of Chelenko and at several universities over the past two days. We extend our condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
It is important that the Ethiopian government ensure the safety of all Ethiopian citizens, and hold accountable those responsible for violence.
We encourage the people of Ethiopia to uphold their admirable and longstanding tradition of respect for their country’s ethnic diversity and its tradition of peaceful co-existence, and to seek constructive means to raise concerns and resolve their differences.
The situation in Ethiopia is deteriorating than ever before as University campuses across the country have turned out to be scenes of ethnic violence.
Over the weekend, a student from Amhara region of Ethiopia is killed when he was thrown from students’ building at Adigrat University by a group of radical Tigrean students. Other students of Amhara and Oromo origin were reportedly attacked and students claim that the number of students killed during the attack is ten, not one as the university administration has claimed.
The Adigrat University incident triggered a wave of student protests at least in seven universities across Ethiopia.
On Monday, two Tigrean students were killed at Wollega University, in an apparent vengeance for the killings at Adigrat University.
The reaction of the government was to militarize university grounds and intensify attacks on students. Concomitantly, government blocked social media again since yesterday.
On December 11, government security forces and Somali region special forces killed 15 in the town of Chelenko, confirmed by Oromo regional state authorities, when residents took to the street to oppose the killing of a young man by Somali regional state.
The United States embassy has been issuing statements for the past couple of months on the deteriorating politial and security situation in Ethiopia in addition to travel advisories to its citizens.
In a statement issued on October 18, the embassy called for“inclusive national discourse on matters of importance to Ethiopian citizens”
But there was no indication that the political situation in Ethiopia was an agenda item when Donald Yukio Yamamoto, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, visited Ethiopia this month.
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