US Condemns Deadly Ethiopia Clashes

Wollega University Shambu campus 2012 photo. According to Addis Standard "the number of civilians killed by security forces in Chelenko town, Meta woreda in east Haraghe zone of the oromia regional state has risen to 15; more than a dozen were also wounded, many of whom are in critical condition." In addition at least "two students were also killed last night at Shambu campus of Wolega university as student protests continued in several universities." (Photograph: Wikimedia)

AFP

Updated: December 13th, 2017

The United States on Wednesday said it was “troubled and saddened” by clashes in Ethiopia that local reports said has left at least 18 people dead.

The violence was reported to be most intense in the eastern town of Chelenko, near the volatile border between the Somali and Oromia regions, home to two of the country’s largest ethnic groups.

There have been a string of recent clashes over the border between the two ethnically demarcated federal regions.

The cause of the latest violence is not clear, nor if they are linked, but they have raised concerns of growing ethnic divisions in Africa’s second most-populous country.

“We are troubled and saddened by reports of violence that has resulted in deaths and injuries in the town of Chelenko and at several universities over the past two days,” the US embassy in Ethiopia said in a statement.

Security forces reportedly killed 15 people on Sunday after protesters accused the police of killing a man, Oromia regional spokesman Addisu Arega said.

Two students were also reported killed on Sunday in separate clashes at the Wollega University campus in Oromia, while another person was reported killed at Adigrat University in Ethiopia’s north.

“We encourage the people of Ethiopia to uphold their admirable and longstanding tradition of respect for their country’s ethnic diversity and its tradition of peaceful co-existence,” the embassy added. It did not give a death toll or provide further details.


Related:
Ethiopia Faces Social Media Blackout After New Ethnic Unrest (Associated Press)

Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia faces a social media blackout as clashes intensify between ethnic groups in various parts of the country.

Facebook and Twitter are down Tuesday after reports emerged of killings on Monday by security forces in the Oromia region.

Oromia regional spokesman Addisu Arega said the violence in Chelenqo town killed six people and was being investigated. On Facebook he called the victims “innocent civilians.”

The Addis Standard news site reported 15 killed, including women and children. The Associated Press was not able to independently verify the reports.

Oromia regional officials have long accused special police from the neighboring Somali region of committing atrocities against ethnic Oromos. The regions also have had bitter border disputes.

The United States has pledged to help resolve the conflict and support 660,000 displaced ethnic Oromos.


Related:
NEWS: NUMBER OF CIVILIANS KILLED BY SECURITY FORCES IN CHELENKO CLIMBS TO FIFTEEN, SEVERAL WOUNDED; TWO STUDENTS KILLED IN WOLEGA UNV. (Addis Standard)

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