80 Killed in Ethiopia Protests During Last Four Weeks, Opposition Says

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Government forces in Ethiopia have killed more than 80 people during protests in the last four weeks, according to an opposition party.

All of the protests have taken place in the Oromia region that surrounds the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Government plans to expand the capital into Oromo territory have sparked anger in the region, leading to a spate of protests that have turned violent with armed forces killing dozens of protesters.

 

Calls for investigation

The Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (EFDU) – a coalition of four separate opposition groups – insist the killings should be investigated. The party says government security forces have ruthlessly opened fire on peaceful protestors to stamp their authority on the largest and most populous region of the country.

“Trigger-happy government forces have killed more than 80 peaceful protesters in Ethiopia during the past four weeks,” Beyene Petros, president of the EFDU told press on Wednesday.

“We are still discovering disfigured bodies in various locations,” he added. “The government has continued its brutal killings so we call on the international community and donors to step in and force the government to stop these inhumane actions.”

 

Conflicting figures

The Ethiopian government maintains that only five protestors have been killed in recent demonstrations. It also insists participants in the demonstrations are enemies of the state, accusing them of working with terrorists. The country’s prime minister earlier warned on national television that the government would take “merciless legitimate action against any force bent on destabilizing the area.”

That certainly appears to be the approach so far with an independent report from Human Rights Watch last week saying at least 75 people have been killed in recent protests.

The vast majority of participants are believed to be students and local farmers who stand to lose out on their land as the capital encroaches on Oromo territory.

 

Featured image:

Oromia in Ethiopia” by TUBSOwn workThis vector graphics image was created with Adobe Illustrator.This file was uploaded with Commonist.This vector image includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this:  Ethiopia location map.svg (by NordNordWest).. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.