Ethiopia: 3 Students Killed as Protest Turns Violence
Three students have been killed during a protest just outside the Ethiopian capital after security forces moved in to confront the crowds.The protest took place in the Oromia state, where plans to expand the capital Addis Ababa has prompted accusations of a land grab by the government. Protests have taken place across the region as a result, with activists claiming security forces have killed seven students in clashes over the last two weeks.
Three killed in latest clash
Oromia police have confirmed the three deaths from this latest protest and images of severely injured students have been circulating on social media. Government crackdowns on student protests have become increasingly common over the last few years, as Ethiopia’s rapidly growing education system continues to be tainted by violence.
— Anywaa Survival (@AnywaaSurvival) December 7, 2015
Oromia has been the worst hit area of the country since plans to expand the capital into the region emerged early last year. The killing of unarmed protesters came to international attention last May, with witnesses revealing dozens of students had been killed in the first wave of Oromia demonstrations.
Opposition to the government’s expansion plans is strong in Oromia – especially in towns like Ginci that are most vulnerable to land disputes. Students from universities, high schools and even some primary schools have been involved in regular protests across some of the areas closest to the capital.
Oromia is the largest state in the country – home to half of the nation’s 100 million population – but it’s strained relationship with the government is nothing new. Many Oromos have expressed discontent for the capital, accusing it of marginalising and discriminating against its people through successive governments.
Protesters say farmers in the region are most at risk from the plans to expand Addis Ababa, claiming the capital is trying to evict them from their land. With little or no compensation being offered, activist say these farmers are essentially being turned into beggars by the government.
Featured image: Gadda.net