Several people have reportedly lost their lives and dozens of others been detained in anti-government protests in Ethiopia.
– In Addis Ababa hundreds of people holding placards gathered at Meskel Square in the center of the city before police dispersed them, a Reuters witness said. Protests also took place in the towns of Ambo and Woliso in Oromiya, where large crowds gathered early on Saturday before soldiers blockaded roads and began to shoot in the air. Ethiopian security forces used tear gas and blocked roads in the capital Addis Ababa and other major towns to try to quell protests against alleged rights abuses, a Reuters witness and residents said
– In a statement Ethiopia’s information ministry said the country would not tolerate “forces that threaten the country’s hard-earned peace and development gains” and added that the government stood ready “to discharge its responsibility.”
– On Saturday many residents in Addis Ababa and other towns also reported being unable to use the internet although it was unclear if authorities had blocked online access. Despite the ban, people took to the streets in several parts of the country for a third consecutive day on Sunday, Emmanuel Igunza reports from Addis Ababa.
– Sources said some 500 people also gathered on the capital’s main square despite heavy police presence, expressing their anger with what they said was an unfair distribution of wealth in the East African country.
“This is a mass movement of civil disobedience, which is not organized by political parties,” said Merera Gudina, the chairman of the Oromo People’s Congress, a political party representing the Oromo people.
– Security forces killed several people in Bahir Dar city, northwestern Ethiopia, after clashing with protesters. The protest apparently went peacefully for an hour or so before clashing with security forces. Horn Affairs learned from multiple sources that the march has been mostly calm until it reached a section of the city called Abay Mado zefer, where the martyr statue of the regional ruling party ANDM and other governmental buildings are located.
-A guard of ANDM disabled veteran building shot dead six protesters when some threw stone into the compound. Chaos and mayhem ensued in the area and elsewhere in the city. Several governmental buildings and business firms as well as a bank were ransacked
– Amhara region president Gedu Andargachew appeared on tv on Thursday to distance himself from the protests and denounce last Sunday’s demonstration for containing armed men and “anti-Constitution slogans”. He warned the government has “the capacity and readiness to enforce order” and that the regional forces are given instructions to take “all the necessary measures.”
– Thousands turned for protests in Debre Tabor on Saturday around noon. A clash with security forces resulted in multiple fatalities
-In North Gondar zone, in areas around Sanja and Masero towns of Tach Armacheho district and Chuahit and Koladeba towns of Dembia district, armed locals clashed with security forces. Similar clash was reported in Gaynet, South Gondar zone. One source claimed some member of the military and the federal police, along with higher number of civilians, were killed in those areas in the weekend.
-The main road connecting Gondar city to Addis Ababa and Gondar city to the border town Metema remains closed since Friday.