A day after barbaric massacre of innocent civilians in Burayu, residents of Addis Ababa, mostly young people, took to the street to condemn it.
Tens of thousands of protesters marched to the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, state media, building in the capital to condemn the killings by radical ethno-nationalists.
Protesters see ethnic politics, like most Ethiopians, as the major cause for ethnic based attacks and killings in different parts of Ethiopia.
“Addis Ababa is for all Ethiopians!” chanted protesters. They also demanded government to hold perpetrators of the attack in Burayu accountable and investigate the cause, and to stand taller to protect the safety and security of Ethiopians.
Ethiopian activists are increasingly calling for the government to look for ways of outlawing ethnic based politics in the country as it is deepening and spreading ethnic based violence and conflict across Ethiopia.
However, that seems unlikely at least in the life time of the ruling party as it is itself in a coalition of four ethnic based parties.
Government media outlets confirmed today that at least dozens of innocent civilians were killed in Burayu yesterday. Hundreds were displaced to the capital to take refugee in churches.
However, Oromo regional state officials including the police commissioner Alemayehu Ejigu describe the attackers as “organized robbers” – a statement that is rather seems to be more offending to the public.
Jemal Zeinu, the Federal Police Commissioner, says over 600 individuals are arrested in connection with the violence in “Addis Ababa and its environs.” There was no reported violence in the capital Addis Ababa yesterday, however. Clash between Addis Ababa youth and supporters of radical Oromo-ethno nationalist opposition, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), was on Wednesday last week and it was sparked by the latter’s move to paint streets in the western parts of the city with colors of OLF flag.
The police commissioner added that five people are killed today in the capital as police took measures on groups which it says were in Merkato and Piazza for “looting,” and that a hand grenade is recovered.
Explaining the circumstances under which five people were killed, he said that “there was attempt to wrest rifle from law enforcement forces” and that police took the measure “to protect civilians. “
Lemma Megersa, Oromo regional state president, issued a statement today saying that at least 300 civilians are returned to their homes in Burayu and that the regional state will take full responsibility in the effort to help support and rehabilitate victims.
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