Anti-government protests in Ethiopia's Amhara and Oromo regions


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Update: August 6, 2016

###Police break up anti-government protest in Ethiopian capital!

Hundreds of protesters clash with police in Ethiopia’s capital after campaigners called for nation-wide protests. Two protesters died in clashes with police in the ancient city of Gonder yesterday as anger mounted over the status of a disputed Wolkait case.

Tensions have been rumbling for around 25 years over the status of Wolkayt district - a stretch of land that protesters from Amhara say was illegally incorporated into the neighbouring Tigray region to the north.

The issue boiled over into violence two weeks ago when crowds came out in Gonder saying they were protesting against an attempt to arrest Wolkayt campaigners.

Government spokesman Getachew Reda said at the time six policemen were killed by the protesters and accused an “illegal committee” of stoking ethnic untest.

The dispute, while centred on a relatively small patch of land, is particularly sensitive because it challenges a division of Ethiopia along ethnic and linguistic lines, imposed by the core of the current ruling EPRDF coalition when it came to power in 1991.

Protesters in Gonder - known as Africa’s Camelot because of its ancient castles - say they had finally decided to take to the streets because they had got nowhere with years of petitioning senior officials, arguing that the Amharic-speaking people of Wolkayt belonged in Amhara.

The protests in the region come in the wake of months of unrest in the central Oromiya province, where demonstrators objected to having land incorporated into the boundaries of the capital Addis Ababa.

The government was subsequently forced to scrap that plan.

At least 1,000 demonstrators protested in Awaday, northeastern Oromo region, Ethiopia, on 31 July, after a government soldier beat a shop owner, local media reported.

An Agazi paramilitary unit, predominantly ethnic-Tigray, was deployed to disperse the protesters, resulting in the use of snipers, who shot dead 26 demonstrators. In response, at least 1,000-2,000 ethnic-Oromo protested on 1 August in Awaday, Bedessa, Dadar, Hirna, Qobbo, and Soqa towns in northeastern Oromo region close to the city of Dire Dawa. Protesters were continuing to man multiple roadblocks on 2 August, interrupting traffic along the highways from Qobo to Harar and from Qobo to Dire Dawa.

Stay tunned to this topic while we are updating the news about the events at the planned demontrations!!