Several people are reported to have been killed in various parts of the Amhara regional state in Northern Ethiopia, where an ongoing protest by the people is intensifying. The VOA Amharic service quoted a resident in Debarq that four people were killed when security officers fired live bullets at protesting civilians.
Over the last few days several reports on social media indicated a rising death toll following security crackdown against a stay-at-home protests in Bahir Dar and Gonder, the region’s capital and a historic city visited by thousands of tourists respectively. Pictures coming from many cities and towns in the region also show protesting citizens, burning tyres and roadblocks. Reports also indicate that up to 50 civilians were killed in the past one week only.
Tensions are on the rise following a statement given to state owned media by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in which he announced that he has ordered the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) to intervene to control the situation in the region, home to the second largest ethnic group in the country. In his speech PM Hailemariam blamed Ethiopia’s “outside enemies” for being the instigators to disrupt the country by providing “radicals with sacks full of money.” He further stated that the government will use “its full forces to bring the rule of law” into the region.
A day prior to PM Hailemariam’s statement, Sheger FM, a private radio based in Addis Abeba, reported that the regional state has requested a military intervention by the Federal government. Talking to the station, Nigusu Tilahun, the regional government’s Chief spokesperson, conceded that lives were lost in the recent protests but declined to give numbers. As a result of intensifying protests, the regional government requested the intervention of the federal army, Sheger FM quoted the spokesperson.
According to sources in Addis Abeba and Amhara Regional cities, and Addis Abeba based Sheger Radio, thousands of heavily armed members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) along with the special squad of Agazi Force, have been deployed to the Gojjam and Gonder provinces of the Amhara regional state.
Images also appeared on social media showing heavy army vehicles being transported, in what appears to be the two regional towns.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said the current level of protest in Ethiopia is containable but blamed foreign countries that do not want Ethiopia to benefit using its resources, which are now “funding extreme Diaspora forces.”
Hailemariam said he ordered security forces to take “any & all” forms of measures against protesters across Ethiopia.
voanews reported that as protests continued to engulf parts of Ethiopia’s Amhara and Oromia regions this month, citizens have been shaving their heads as a sign of solidarity with jailed opposition leaders.
People posted videos online of themselves shearing off their hair with electric razors in response to a letter smuggled out of prison by Oromo political leader Bekele Gerba and others. In some Ethiopian cultures, a shaved head is part of the mourning process after the death of a loved one.
It’s now made visible, the act of the government and the people through social media activists the daily happening of protesting regions. The statement has clearly angered many and have more considering the order to be injustice having the armed over the unarmed which many have referred as merciless along sharing pictures and videos of the attacked residents including children.
The protest is still going on brutally and spreading around ever since .
Ethiopia Is On The Brink Of Collapse, recently addressed seeker a news media. here is Why?
From political protests to a crippling drought, Ethiopia has its share of emergent crises. So is Ethiopia on the verge of collapse?
Ethiopia is coming apart at the seams. In just in the last year, the country has suffered through a historic drought, a severe economic slowdown, and a series of clashes between citizens and government forces.
The country’s biggest problem is a political one, according to international observers. When the nation’s current ruling party — the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) — took power in 1991, it immediately segregated the country into nine regional districts, divided by ethnicity.
In order to retain power, the EPRDF has assumed near-total control over the press, the military, the legislature and the economy. In November 2015, the percolating protest movement finally boiled over into a series of major confrontations. Unrest has spread rapidly though the districts of Ethiopia’s two largest ethnics groups — the Oromos and the Amharas.
According to timesofisrael recent report The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said Israeli travelers should avoid the Amhara and Oromia districts of Ethiopia, including the cities of Gondar, Bahir Dar and Debre Tabor.
The ministry also cautioned against traveling within 10 kilometers of the Ethiopian borders with Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and Kenya.
The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency in the Amhara region, one of nine ethnic divisions in the country.
Gondar, in the Amhara region, is home to several thousand Falash Mura Jews seeking to move to Israel.
In Bahir Dar, activists reported 30 people killed as government forces opened fire on a protest last month, amid a harsh crackdown by Addid Ababa against the demonstrations.
“New levels of violence are being reported in the crackdown on the largely peaceful protests that have taken place across Oromia and Amhara regions in recent weeks,” said Hassan Shire, Executive Director of DefendDefenders, according to Amnesty International. “Instead of investigating and holding accountable those responsible for rights violations, the government is jailing the few independent human rights defenders left working in the country.”
The government’s decision to join the northern province of Welkait to the Tigray region was the immediate trigger for the Amhara protests, but they have occurred at the same time as others in the Oromia region where regular, sometimes deadly, demonstrations have happened since November over land rights.
Together, Oromia and Amhara people make up over 60 percent of the population.
The demonstrations are a challenge to the EPRDF’s model of “ethnic federalism” intended to give representation and a degree of self-determination to the multitude of ethnic groups in Ethiopia.
“Ethnic federalism is not working because it is not implemented equally,” said Molla Wasie of the opposition Agaw Democratic Party. “Things are getting more and more tense. The government and the opposition should come together and find a solution.”
following the many reports along Dutch company says protesters in Ethiopia are torching flower farms as they target businesses with links to the government. Flowers are one of the country’s top exports.
The Esmeralda Farms statement comes amid anti-government protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions in recent weeks that residents and rights groups say have left dozens dead.
The company says its 10 million Euro investment went up in smoke this week in Bahir Dar city and that several other horticulture companies were affected.
Demonstrators have been calling for wider freedoms in this East African country. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council has said government security forces are using excessive force against them.
Ethiopia’s government, a close security ally of the West, is often accused of silencing dissent, even blocking internet access at times.