“Oromo Protest” protest plans fails as authorities in the region act

Oromo Protest strategy focuses on road blockades and crippling business activity, apart from recent scorched earth like strategy which focused on burning residences and businesses of people whom they consider as “enemy.”

Oromo region Communication affairs head, Getachew Balcha (Photo : EBC)

borkena
August 18, 2020

The Oromo regional state said on Tuesday that attempts to incite widespread violence in the Oromo region of Ethiopia is reversed.

“The protest called by anti-peace forces in all parts of Oromo regional state is foiled as security forces and the public worked together,” Communications Affairs Bureau of the region said, as reported by Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).

According to Getachew Balcha, head of communications affairs, the call was the fifth attempt, by what he called anti-peace forces residing in and outside the country, to make the Oromo region of Ethiopia a center of violence and chaos, and it has failed for the fifth time.

People in the region want the need for development and good governance issues to be resolved peacefully, not blockade of roads and closure of business, Mr. Getachew added in a press statement on current affairs in the region.

Furthermore, he said that people in the region demonstrated that it will not accept the closure of businesses. “No protest that will make the region a center for violence and chaos is allowed hereafter,” he said.

In July 2020, more than 240 people were killed in the region when a mob in different towns in the region attacked non-Oromos and followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church following the Death of Hachalu Hundessa. An investigation into the killing and destruction of properties (worth billions of birr) revealed that administrative staff (including mayors) and law enforcement bodies collaborated with the mob in the attack against non-Oromos. 

The administration in the region claimed that it has reformed the structure and that it will continue to enforce the rule of law.

Reports of Death in Some parts of the region

A report by Voice of America Amharic Service on Tuesday said that there were killings in some parts of the region as security forces clashed with protestors.

In Awoday, in South Eastern Ethiopia, about eight people were killed and fifteen others wounded, according to an “eyewitness” account from the region. However, the figure in Adwoday is not confirmed from hospital sources.

In Shashemene, where hundreds of business and residential homes were burned and dozens killed including nine-month pregnant women (she was beheaded by the mob in front of her children and husband), an eyewitness (who spoke to VOA Amharic anonymously) said “Oromia police were shooting,” and that people were killed. However, a hospital source confirmed to the news source that there was no death but as many as eleven people were admitted to the hospital with bullet wounds and that their situation is not life-threatening.

Getachew Balcha said that he does not have details of the causality as a result of the attempted protest on Tuesday, and he said that it will be made public following an investigation.

The unsuccessful protest in the Oromo region was called after Jawar Mohammed claimed in the court on Monday that he is sick, and would like to be treated by his own personal doctor, not by physicians provided by the government. His reason is that he has “suspicion that they would do something.”



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