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Mobility restrictions in the Oromo region of Ethiopia 

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Toronto – Disruption of transpiration services is reportedly observed in some parts of the Oromia region of Ethiopia following what is said to be a clandestine call for protest in the region.  

The seemingly anti-government protest has been activated after Battee Urgessa, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) top political officer, was killed last Tuesday in his hometown. 

According to DW Amharic report, Bajaj (electric 3-wheeler) movements are not that affected in towns in the region. However, mobility from town to town is slowing down – apparently due to security concerns after a call for strike in the region. 

For example, according to a DW Amharic report, flow of vehicles and heavy trucks between Addis Ababa and Adea Berga in West Shoa, which is prominent for Cement production, has slowed.  Public transportation vehicles have also shown a decrease in number. 

Residents have confirmed to DW Amharic that the flow of vehicles from town to town is not like it used to be. 

However, there are also roads that have been experiencing regular security problems in the Oromia region. But traffic flow does not seem to change in connection with the clandestine call for protest. Addis Ababa via Mojo Hawassa, Batu and Shashemene have almost regular traffic flow, according to the source. 

The clandestine call for transportation strike was made on Saturday. It is unclear as to who is behind the call. What is clear is that it is a response to the killing of OLF top politician. 

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has already issued a statement blaming the government for the killing of Batte Urgessa. The government rejected the accusation and labeled it as an attempt on the part of “politically bankrupt” entities to seize the opportunity. 

Government arrested the sibling of  the deceased as a suspect but the family sees government action as a form of attempt to cover up its crime. Battee was reportedly taken by government security forces from the hotel where he was staying in Meki – where he was born and grew up – around 12: 20 a.m. and killed in a dumping area about two kilometers from the town. He was reportedly killed by six bullets. 

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