Addis Ababa, Aug 9: At least 104 people killed and hundreds injured when security forces in Ethiopia used live ammunition to disperse anti-government demonstrations in several parts of the country over the weekend, a media report informed on Monday.
At least 67 died and hundreds were held during the protests in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, while in Amhara, at least 30 died in the city of Bahir Dar and seven died in Gondar, Efe news reported.
“The security forces’ response was heavy-handed, but unsurprising. Ethiopian forces have systematically used excessive force in their mistaken attempts to silence dissenting voices,” an official said.
Around thousands of people demonstrated in various cities of Oromia during the weekend to show their dissatisfaction at the ongoing arrests and abuses against opponents, activists and politicians who support the Oromo independence cause.Protests were held for spontaneously via social networks, but the police use of teargas and live ammunition sparked a new wave of protests.
Bahir Dar and Gondar in the Amhara, the second largest ethnic group in the country after the Oromo, walked out on the streets demanding political reform and the judiciary after years of marginalisation and persecution by the government of Addis Ababa.
Amid increasing tension, the Ethiopian government decided to disrupt communications and cut off access to major social networks and messaging services.
The Oromo have spent months protesting what they see as unwarranted persecution by the Ethiopian authorities and so far there have been over 400 deaths reported since the start of the demonstrations, according to estimates by Human Rights Watch.