Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more

FOCUS

French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more

ENCORE!

FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more

Africa

Violent demonstrations in Ethiopia leave scores dead

© Zacharias Abubeker, AFP | People mourn the death of Dinka Chala who was shot dead by the Ethiopian forces the day earlier, in the Yubdo Village, about 100 km from Addis Ababa in the Oromia region, on 17 December 2015

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-12-19

At least 75 people have been killed during weeks of protests in Ethiopia which have seen soldiers and police firing on demonstrators, Human Rights Watch said on Saturday.

"Police and military forces have fired on demonstrations, killing at least 75 protesters and wounding many others, according to activists," HRW said in a statement.

There was no immediate response from Addis Ababa, but it has previously put the toll at five dead.

Government spokesman Getachew Reda said the "peaceful demonstrations" that began last month had escalated into violence, accusing protesters of "terrorising the civilians."

The protests began in November when students opposed government proposals to take over territory in several towns in the Oromia region, sparking fears that Addis Ababa was looking to grab land traditionally occupied by the Oromo people, the country's largest ethnic group.

Demonstrations have taken place in the towns of Haramaya, Jarso, Walliso and Robe among others.

"Human Rights Watch received credible reports that security forces shot dozens of protesters in Shewa and Wollega zones, west of Addis Ababa, in early December," HRW added.

"Several people described seeing security forces in the town of Walliso, 100 kilometres southwest of Addis Ababa, shoot into crowds of protesters in December, leaving bodies lying in the street."

Pictures have appeared on social media, apparently showing bloodied protestors and armed police firing tear gas at student demonstrators.

"The Ethiopian government's response to the Oromia protests has resulted in scores dead and a rapidly rising risk of greater bloodshed," HRW's Leslie Lefkow said.

"The government's labelling of largely peaceful protesters as 'terrorists' and deploying military forces is a very dangerous escalation of this volatile situation."

Rights groups have repeatedly criticised Ethiopia's use of anti-terrorism legislation to stifle peaceful dissent.

With nearly 27 million people, Oromia is the most populous of the country's federal states and has its own language, Oromo, distinct from Ethiopia's official Amharic language.

(AFP)
 

Date created : 2015-12-19

  • Ethiopia

    Obama begins Ethiopia, African Union visit

    Read more

  • ETHIOPIA

    Obama hails Ethiopia’s fight against Islamists, but urges democratic progress

    Read more

  • ETHIOPIA

    Press freedom in the spotlight on Obama’s Ethiopia visit

    Read more

COMMENT(S)