Ethiopia protest: Ambo students killed in Oromia state

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At least nine students have died during days of protests in Ethiopia’s Oromia state, the government has said.

However, a witness told the BBC that 47 were killed by the security forces.

She said the protests in Ambo, 125km (80 miles) west of Addis Ababa began last Friday over plans to expand the capital into Oromia state.

The government did not say how most of the deaths had been caused but the Ambo resident said she had seen the army firing live ammunition.

“I saw more than 20 bodies on the streets,” she said.

“I am hiding in my house because I am scared.”

‘Teaching suspended’

The Ambo resident said that four students had been killed on Monday and another 43 in a huge security crackdown on Tuesday, after a huge demonstration including many non-students.

Since then, the town’s streets have been deserted, she said, with banks and shops closed and no transport.

She said teaching had been suspended at Ambo University, where the protests began, and students prevented from leaving.

In a statement, the government said eight people had died during violent protests led by “anti-peace forces” in the towns of Ambo and Tokeekutayu, as well as Meda Welabu University, also in Oromia state.

It said one person had been killed “in a related development” when a hand grenade was thrown at students watching a football match.

The statement blamed the protests on “baseless rumours” being spread about the “integrated development master plan” for the capital.

BBC Ethiopia analyst Hewete Haileselassie says some ethnic Oromos feel the government is dominated by members of the Tigray and Amhara communities and they would be loath to see the size of “their” territory diminish with the expansion of Addis Ababa, which is claimed by both Oromos and Amharas.

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About advocacy4oromia

The aim of Advocacy for Oromia-A4O is to advocate for the people’s causes to bring about beneficial outcomes in which the people able to resolve to their issues and concerns to control over their lives. Advocacy for Oromia may provide information and advice in order to assist people to take action to resolve their own concerns. It is engaged in promoting and advancing causes of disadvantaged people to ensure that their voice is heard and responded to. The organisation also committed to assist the integration of people with refugee background in the Australian society through the provision of culturally-sensitive services.

Posted on May 2, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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