Aksum University violence, in Tigray region,claimed life

Aksum University administration has confirmed that one student is dead and at least 20 injured. The regional state says it will bring criminals before law

Aksum University _ Violence
Aksum University, Tigray, North Ethiopia. Photo credit : AU

June 5, 2019

A  second-year mechanical engineering student at Aksum University is killed in the university ground. University authorities and Tigray regional state authorities have confirmed the news. 

The killing came a week after what looked like a clandestine attack that left a student from Tigray region dead at Debremarkos University in North Western part of Ethiopia. 

The victim at Aksum Unversity is identified as Yohannes Masresha and he is reportedly from Debre Berhan area, central Ethiopia. 

Twenty other students have sustained wounds and are currently receiving treatment, seemingly in the region, according to state broadcaster, EBC, report on Wednesday.

The University’s president Dr. Tsehaye Asmelash is cited as saying that the incident happened on Tuesday, and the region’s security force and members of the defense force had to enter the university ground so as to control the situation. 

Dr. Tsehaye added that police already launched an investigation into the killing, as reported by EBC citing LTV as a source. 

At this point, it is not determined as to what caused the violence. What is known is that the violence bears a pattern of ethnic-based one. 

Amahra regional state has vehemently condemned the killing and called on Aksum University administration and law enforcement units to live up to their responsibility of protecting the safety and security of students. 

It has also called on Tigray regional state to identify those who committed the crime and hold them legally accountable. 

Debretsion Gebremichael, president of Tigray regional state, has said on Wednesday that the regional state is in “deep sorrow” over the death of the student at Aksum University. 

He went on to say that “attacking people on the basis of their identity is not the characteristic of people in the region.” 

As well, he added that the region is working on to bring criminals responsible for the killing before the law. 

“Students pursuing their study in the region should not be intimidated by the what happened and continue their study,” said the region’s president. 

He also characterized those who committed the crime, yet to be identified, as “enemies of Tigray people with interest in bringing harm to the region’s peace.” 

Ethnic-based violence has become a recurring problem in the university campus across the country – which in a way reflects manufactured ethnic tension in Ethiopia. Often times it starts as violence between individuals and then escalates to full-fledged ethnic violence.   

In 2017, one student was killed and several students were wounded at Adigrat University in Tigray region under similar circumstances. 

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