Three people reported dead as protests in Ethiopia’s Oromia region marks fifteenth day.

Sporadic protests raising regional and local issues have been taking place in several towns of Oromia for two weeks now. The demonstration by students in Ginchi town, exactly two weeks ago, is deemed the first of the series of protests.

A dozen locations in central and western Oromia had protests of varying intensity since then. Elementary, high school students and, at times, local residents participated in the protests.

Oromia police and Federal police anti-riot squadron have been accused of brutality in dispersing the demonstrations. Several dozen have been detained for organizing the protests which authorities deem unlawful.Photo - Oromia police officer badge

Earlier this week, protests took place in Haramaya University and Meda Welabu University – located in the east and south, respectively. Three students of Haramaya University are being treated in hospital, while nineteen were in detention, according to HornAffairs sources in the university.

The protests in the west and central Oromia, on Wednesday and Thursday, however, turned deadly.

Two high school students in Cheliya town, Guliso wereda, died after being shot by a bullet on Wednesday. One died hours later, while the second died on Thursday morning in hospital.

The third death was in Bantu town, Tole wereda, on Thursday, after police tried to disbanded a demonstration by high school students.

Officials claimed to be investigating the source and circumstance of the shootings.

Though some reports claim a student of Haramaya University died in hospital, a government source told HornAffairs the information is erroneous.

High school students in Haramaya town staged a demonstration on Thursday morning.

The demonstrations taking place in Oromia are protesting against the controversial draft plan for the capital Addis Ababa and its surrounding Oromia towns and demanding Afaan Oromo to become a federal language as well as local maladministration grievances.

So far, protests have taken place at varying intensity in Mendi town, Jarso wereda, Guliso wereda, Kiltu Kara wereda, and Nejo wereda of Western Welega zone; in Jeldu wereda, Ambo wereda, Dendi wereda of West Shewa zone; in Tole wereda of South-west Shewa zone; in Haramaya town in East Hararghe zone; and in Meda Welabu in Bale zone.


Daniel Berhane

more recommended stories