Travelers from the Amhara region of Ethiopia have encountered disturbing incidents involving Oromia security forces, resulting in their exclusion from entering the capital, Addis Ababa.
According to a report from Wazema radio, passengers on their way to Addis Ababa via Debre Berhan were abruptly rerouted back to Amhara region.
The incident unfolded at the Sheno Checkpoint, located less than 10 kilometers from the capital. Eyewitness accounts provided by Wazema Radio reporter suggest that security personnel, dressed in Oromia region special forces uniforms, were rigorously scrutinizing the identification documents of travelers and discriminately denying entry to Addis Ababa to those of Amhara ethnicity.
This harrowing turn of events affected a wide spectrum of individuals, including those with critical medical appointments in the capital and university students eager to resume their studies after a two-month hiatus. It is worth noting that some of these stranded travelers lacked the necessary funds to cover their return journey to the Amhara region.
What’s deeply troubling is that many of these individuals were not suspected of any wrongdoing or criminal activity. Such incidents have been recurring along the routes between Addis Ababa and Mekelle, as well as Addis Ababa and Gojjam, targeting ethnic Amhara Ethiopians.
As of now, the Ethiopian government did not remark on the development.
Critics have accused Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, along with the Addis Ababa authorities, of tacitly endorsing these actions by insinuating that those traveling to the capital harbor motives to destabilize the government.
Abiy Ahmed’s administration has detained thousands of ethnic Amhara individuals in both Addis Ababa and the Oromia region. These arrests followed the government’s declaration of a state of emergency in August 2023, purportedly in response to an “invitation from the Amhara regional state.”
While the Federal government claimed that normalcy has been restored in most parts of the Amhara region, the war continues in most parts of the region, highlighting the complex and enduring nature of the challenges facing Ethiopia.
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