Ethiopia: Thousands protest ethnic-based violence –

The Ethiopian government has denounced overnight ethnic-based violence on the outskirts of the capital. Thousands of Ethiopians took to the streets to demonstrate on Monday. As democratic reforms launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government slowly

The Ethiopian government has denounced overnight ethnic-based violence on the outskirts of the capital. Thousands of Ethiopians took to the streets to demonstrate on Monday.

As democratic reforms launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government slowly take shape in Ethiopia, several areas surrounding the capital Addis Ababa were hit by what is the latest round of violence in the country.

Thousands of angry Ethiopians took to the streets of Addis Ababa in protest on Monday after a weekend of ethnically motivated attacks that saw 23 people killed and dozens arrested on the outskirts of the capital over the weekend.

Fighting broke out in the wake of the return of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) leaders — once banned and termed terrorists by the government — to the country, invited back by reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

“We demand justice,” some of the rally-goers chanted. “The government’s task is to protect its citizens, not to send condolences after they are butchered.”

Abiy Ahmed’s chief of staff, Fitsum Arega, condemned the killings.

The nearby town of Burayu also reportedly faced ethnically-motivated violence, according to theReporter Ethiopia news website, including deaths and thousands of displaced. The news platform says people are still fleeing their homes, with many headed to Addis Ababa.

On Monday in the capital, the protesters headed to Meskel Square, where just two days earlier thousands had gathered to welcome some 1,500 OLF fighters returning to Ethiopia from their base in neighboring Eritrea. The group has for decades advocated the “right to national self-determination” for the Oromo people, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group. Their return was preceded by scuffles between rival groups.

he OLF return comes amid sweeping government reforms to bring opposition groups back into politics. In a first step earlier this year, the OLF was one of the groups removed from a list of terror groups. Tensions in restive areas dramatically declined when the Abiy government released several thousand prisoners, unblocked websites and welcomed opposition voices.

Government welcomes OLF

The government also welcomed the returnees.

“I’m happy to be here after 26 years of struggle from outside of Ethiopia,” the OLF leader Dawud Ibsa told reporters, adding that the OLF has struggled to bring the changes that are happening now in Ethiopia. “We are now seeing positive signs that include the respect for rule of law: That’s why we came here,” he said.

Deal to ease cros-border tensions after decades of hostilities

Just one day after the OLF returned to their native country, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed an agreement at a summit in Saudi Arabia. The deal is aimed at bolstering a historic peace accord between the two former Horn of Africa enemies. In July, Abiy and Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki had signed a “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship” that formally restored diplomatic relations. Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in the early 1990s, and war broke out later that decade over a border dispute.

“There is a wind of hope blowing in the Horn of Africa,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

 DW

 

aseye.asena@gmail.com

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8 COMMENTS
  • Genet Original September 18, 2018

    Ethiopians, you are going to find out about DIA very soon. This all is because of DIA. He is an evil man. The enemy of Eritreans and Ethiopians.

  • Sol September 18, 2018

    You are right Genet, this malignant dictator is a curse to humanity.

    • Michael Tesfamariam September 18, 2018

      Sol

      I don’t believe you have sufficient knowledge about yourself let alone about humanity. You just close your eyes and point your finger at Issais for everything you see around the world. I can see why it is extremely difficult for self described “justice seekers” like you to get rid of Isais and his regime, since you actually think Issais has such a massive power and influence that could shake the world. Poor Eritrea!

  • ዝበረቐ ጽሓየይ September 18, 2018

    we are also forgetting that President Isaias is responsible for global warming & the floods in USA , ጨውዶ ስኢኑ ተቓውሞ ሓቀይ ?

    • Michael Tesfamariam September 18, 2018

      Lol,,,you are right if you live in Genet’s little cottage.

  • Danilo September 18, 2018

    Poor Ethiopia and Eritrea, the honest people by nature but not lucky because of stupid leaders they have. No mention isayas nor the already gone Haileslasie and mengustu, the current prophet Abi is becoming more serious for his ambition rather than to make peace.

    • Danilo September 18, 2018

      Mad dog and a child on the screen . neither of them are actors! Un less expectators laugh instantly to warm mouth incase true peace comes on sight.

  • Michael Tesfamariam September 18, 2018

    Genet
    I wish you were right about your attempt to link the chaos and bloodshed in Ethiopia directly with Issais. I agree Issais is a cold dictator but what this ethnic driven sectarian tensions in Ethiopia have to do with him? Don’t you believe PM Abiy’s incompetence and shambolic leadership is to blame? Because he was appointed in a kangaroo court to lead the country, despite the fact that Issais has been able to manipulate him like a child for his own demostic and international ends. To be frank, Ethiopians must be able to get rid of this little and incompet Arab sellout PM if they are to restore peace and stability in the country. Dictator Issais has his own crimes at home which you and your fellow citizens are not willing to talk about.

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