Ethiopia: Unrest follows 56 deaths in anti-govt demos

Trucks and machinery, customs and court office, govt-owned vehicles all attacked after 56 died Sunday in protest stampede

Ethiopia: Unrest follows 56 deaths in anti-govt demos

World Bulletin / News Desk

Protesters attacked trucks and machinery owned by a cement factory in the Oromia state and also set a customs and court office ablaze, as well as government-owned vehicles, in the wake of anti-government protest on Sunday which left 56 people dead, a local official told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday. 

Worku Chala, Oromia’s communications officer, told Anadolu Agency that in the town of Bule Hora in the West Guji zone, protesters also allegedly freed prisoners after burning down a police station.

“Lives were lost following the conflict between security forces and the forces of destruction in Bule Hora,” said Chala. “Demonstrations are flaring up as dead bodies are returned to families, creating a renewed sense of anger and depression among members of society.” 

The protests follow a massive demonstration Sunday at Bishoftu, 45 kilometers southeast of the capital Addis Ababa, in which 56 have so far been reported killed and many others injured in a stampede triggered by the sound of gunfire and firing of teargas to disperse the crowd. 

The gathering was meant to mark the annual Irrecha thanksgiving event, but turned into a gigantic anti-government protest with people shouting “didne”, which means “enough” as well as “freedom”. 

“All the protests over the last couple of days are the result of the unfortunate incident in which the security forces fired into the air and the teargas,” a protester, a teacher who spoke on condition of anonymity due to safety concerns, told Anadolu Agency. 

“The stampede could have been avoided and death would have been thus prevented, but alas, you can’t cry over spilled milk, too many of our brothers and sisters are dead now,” he said. 

In a message of condolences, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn blamed the mayhem on what he described as a few “instigators” and anti-peace elements who hijacked a public holiday for ulterior political motives. 

Following the Bishoftu incident, the Ethiopian government declared three days of national mourning, with the tricolor flag at half-mast. 


Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Ekim 2016, 15:58