Forces kill hundreds in Ethiopia protestsFrom ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – AFRICAN leaders and donor countries have been accuse of complicity in the ongoing killings that have claimed over 500 protestors at the hands of Ethiopia’s security forces.
The protests have been held since November in Oromia, which surrounds the capital Addis Ababa, and the Amhara region to the north-west.
Demonstrators began the protests against the government’s integrated master plan to develop the infrastructure of Addis Ababa, and adjacent cities in Oromia.
The government backed off that plan, but the demonstrations then became a wider protest, expressing grievances against the government and its response to the protests.
An attempt by authorities to arrest some individuals thought to have links with the Eritrean government and other dissident elements sparked the Amhara demonstrations.
The protests transformed into another protest by people demanding the return of Amhara land transferred to the northern Tigray province in 1991.
Forces have reacted brutally with the use of live ammunition commonplace leading to the death of hundreds.
The government contests the figures and argues the protests were not peaceful as an unspecified number of police were killed and property destroyed.
Experts said Africa and the international community at large had been silent.
This has been attributed to Ethiopia’s importance as a partner in the fight against terrorism and its role in peacekeeping.
“All of these factors have cast a kind of spell of silence over governments that are otherwise usually critical of this sort of behavior,” said Peter Fabricius, consultant with Institute for Security Studies.
– CAJ News
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