Ethiopia Turns Down UN Offer to Send Observers to Probe Protester Deaths

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Ethiopia has declined the United Nations’ proposal to send its observers to investigate the killing of scores of people by security forces amid the ongoing protests in the country.

On Monday, nearly 100 people were shot dead when Ethiopian security forces fired bullets at peaceful demonstrators in the Oromia and Amhara regions, according to advocacy group Amnesty International.

The observers are unnecessary as the United Nations already has a “massive” presence in the country and Ethiopia itself is responsible for the lives of its citizens, government spokesman Getachew Reda told the Al Jazeera broadcaster.

The demonstrations against a government plan to include parts of Oromia into the capital of Addis Ababa began in November 2015, sparking fears that local farmers would be required to move from the area. This year, the conflict escalated and protests started in Amhara after security forces’ attempts to arrest the leader of the region.