Ethiopia: Police fire live rounds at protestors in Oromia

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Ethiopian police officers fired live ammunition at protesters in Oromia on Thursday to disperse crowds who were blocking roads in the town of Ambo.

Witnesses say at least four people were killed from gunshot wounds after police fired live rounds at protesters in Ambo, roughly 130km (80 miles) from the capital, Addis Ababa. Local residents say demonstrators blocked the town’s main road to protest sugar shortages.

Clashes in Oromia

Thursday’s clash with police is the latest outbreak of violence between protesters and security forces in Oromia. The province was rocked by prolonged spells of unrest in 2015 and 2016 which resulted in a strict state of emergency that was only lifted in August this year.

However, local residents suggest the reason behind Thursday’s demonstration was an ongoing sugar shortage – far from the political motivation behind much of the protest violence taking place over the last few years.

Regardless, the protest ultimately ended in violence.

Deaths confirmed

“Police fired live rounds. We know of four or five people who died from gunshot wounds,” one protester told Reuters.

Regional government spokesman, Addisu Arega Kitessa, confirmed an unspecified number of deaths but gave no additional details. He said the demonstrations were organised by “enemies” of the region.

 

Featured image: By TUBS – Own 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)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17593410

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.