Ethiopia: Police fire live rounds at protestors in Oromia
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.
“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.
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