Al Jazeera latest developments live at 19:30 GMT – Ethiopia’s crackdown on protests

Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration over what they say is unfair distribution of wealth in the country at Meskel Square in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, on August 6, 2016. (REUTERS/TIKSA NEGERI)

Dozens are dead and many more injured in Ethiopia after security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters last weekend. In the latest round of protests, thousands took to the streets across Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara regions to fight against what they say is the marginalisation of the two largest ethnic groups in the country, the Oromo and Amhara.

The Oromo protests first began in November 2015 after the Ethiopian government introduced the “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan.” Officials say it was an economic and infrastructure initiative, but activists argue it would have displaced many Oromos living in towns and villages close to the capital city. Over the course of the next several months at least 400 people were killed and thousands arrested for their involvement in anti-government demonstrations, according to Human Rights Watch. The government eventually cancelled the Master Plan, but the movement continues. And last month, the country’s second largest ethnic group, the Amhara, joined the protests in solidarity with the Oromos. They are calling on the government to address similar political and economic grievances that they have.

Tension between the Ethiopian government and the Oromos and the Amhara has been growing. In the run up to this weekend’s demonstrations Prime Minister Haile Mariam Dessalegn announced a ban on the protests saying they “threaten national unity”. But critics say the government’s moves are intended to control dissent. Dessalegn says his government will continue to make efforts to address the concerns of the protesters.

We’ll discuss the latest developments at 19:30 GMT.

On this espisode of The Stream, we speak with:

Getachew Reda @getachewkreda
Communications Affairs Minister

Merera Gudina
Chairman, Oromo Federalist Congress

Fetsum Berhane @fetsum1

Najat Hamza @najathamza6
Activist, Oromo Community of Minnesota

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Posted by on August 10, 2016. Filed under COMMENTARY,VIEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.