Over 300 killed, thousands wounded at Oromo festival in Debre Zeit (+Video)

Demonstrators show the Oromo protest gesture sign during Irreecha, the thanks giving festival of the Oromo people in Bishoftu town of Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Demonstrators show the Oromo protest gesture sign during Irreecha, the thanks giving festival of the Oromo people in Bishoftu town of Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

BISHOFTU, Ethiopia – Over 300 killed,  thousands wounded at Oromo festival in Debre Zeit on Sunday morning when a religious celebration in Ethiopia turned into an anti-government protest that led police to fire tear gas and rubber bullets.

An estimated two million people were attending the annual Irrecha event in Bishoftu town southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa. The event took place in one
of the country’s most sensitive regions, Oromia, which has seen several months of sometimes deadly protests demanding wider freedoms.

Ethiopia’s government acknowledged deaths during the event and, though a spokesman, blamed “people that prepared to cause trouble” for the chaos. The spokesman’s office said many people were taken to hospitals, but it did not provide any figures.

Witnesses said police dispersed protesters chanting anti-government slogans as they pushed toward a stage where religious leaders were speaking. Some threw rocks and plastic bottles.

As festival goers fled, some were crushed in nearby ditches.bishoftu-massacre

An Associated Press reporter saw people holding up crossed wrists in a popular gesture of anti-government protest and police firing tear gas. The reporter also saw several injured people.

The months of anti-government protests in several parts of Ethiopia and the sometimes harsh government response has raised international concern. The United States recently spoke out against what it called the excessive use of force against protesters.

The Ethiopian government has long been accused of human rights abuses when it comes to government opponents. Three Ethiopian journalists were released from prison just ahead of President Obama’s visit to the African nation last year. They are just some of victims who dared to criticize their government and went to prison for it.

Human Rights Watch writes: “Authorities use arbitrary arrests and politically motivated probishoftu2secutions to silence journalists, bloggers, protesters, and perceived supporters of opposition parties. Security forces respond to peaceful protests with excessive force, and detainees routinely allege torture and ill-treatment. Repressive laws restrict nongovernmental activity.”

Also look at International media reports on the incident:

CBS News
Dozens killed in stampede at anti-government protest in Ethiopia

Wall Street Journal
Ethiopia Stampede Kills Dozens at Religious Event

Washington Post
Dozens killed in Ethiopia after police tear gas protest at festival

Daily Nation
Several dead in Ethiopia stampede

Los Angeles Times
Dozens killed during stampede at religious celebration in Ethiopia

Press Herald
Dozens die during stampede at Ethiopia religious event

Chicago Tribune
Dozens reportedly killed in stampede during religious celebration in Ethiopia

Voice of America
50 Ethiopians Killed in Stampede After Confrontation with Police


TPLF Reaction on ETV

Poeple mourning

Helicopter flying over crowds celebrating Irreecha in Bishoftu

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Posted by on October 2, 2016. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses to Over 300 killed, thousands wounded at Oromo festival in Debre Zeit (+Video)

  1. Teshu

    October 2, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    ትገሬ ጀግና ሆኖ አያውቅም ::በማንኛውም ሰብዓዊ መስፈርት ቢመዘን ትግሬ ከእንስሳት በታች የሚመደብ አውሬ መሆኑን በግብሩ ያስመሰከረ ሰው መሳይ ስብስብ ነው ::የትግሬ ታሪኩ በአጭሩ በራስ ከመተማመን ይልቅ ባንዳነትን ተመግበውና ጠጥተው ማደግ ባንዳነትን ለብሰው በባንዳነት መኖር ነው(ማንበብና መፃፍ የምትችል ከሆነ የሀበሻ ጀብዱን አንብብ )::

    ትግሬን ለማንበርከክ ዘመናዊ መሳሪያና ስልጠና አያስፈልግም::ሳይገባችውም ይሁን ለሆዳችው በማደር ያልፈጠረባችሁን የወንድነት ጭንብል ያጠለቁላችሁን የአማራ፣የኦሮሞ ፣ የአፋር ፣ የጋምቤላ ፣ ወዘተ ልጆች ከአንካሳው ትገሬ ዙሪያ እንዲርቁ ማድረግ በቂ ነው ::ምክንያቱም (ትገሬ=ዕፍኝ ጥሬ, በአንድ ጊዜ የሚቃም)::ይህን ደግሞ በዋናነት ጀግኖቹ የአማራና የኦሮሞ ልጆች በቅርቡ ያደርጉታል::ንስሐ ግቡ ::ኦሮማይ::

  2. citizen

    October 3, 2016 at 2:38 AM

    Ethiopia and Ethiopians were in peace before the wolkait issue and now the government listen and promised to solve the problem,but still we see the unrest spreading to the oromia which has nothing to do with the wolkait issue.What is behind the demonstration?why can’t people respect government order and demonstrate peacefuly?

    For all those killing in Ethiopia Tamagn and his followers are responsible.

  3. Zewdu.

    October 3, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    What more heinous crimes do they have to commit to be disowned by The West. I used to think The West valued human lives as in 30 to 40 years ago. Alas, that is not the case. If a government serves their interests like the genocidal Ethiopian Minority Government, it gets the pass regardless of how many people they kill; imprison; maim and how often they do it.

    I have written to 30+ humane organizations about the ethnic cleansing of Amharas in accordance with their Feb. 1976 manifesto; the disappearance of 2.4 million Amharas from 1997 to 2007 and Parliament owning it and reducing the budget to Amhara region accordingly; the genocides in Addis Ababa, Gambella, Ogaden, Oromia, Sidama, Konso and now again in Bishoftu, Oromia.

    They are not willing to take any action to restrain them from killing people at will.
    Shame on USA and UK who brought them to power and enabling them now.

  4. Zewdu

    October 3, 2016 at 5:55 PM

    The so-called government ruling Ethiopia is Tigray People Liberation Front. They are colonizers of Ethiopia. Hence they have no legitimacy to rule Ethiopia as they have abrogated their Ethiopian citizenship in favor of Tigray Republic.
    The TPLF government doesn’t respect its own constitution and the rights of people. People demonstrated peacefully in Gonder and Bahir Dar peacefully. What they got was bullets for exposing the injustices on them in favor Tigraians. How would you like non-Tigraians ruling over Tigray as Tigraians Adissu Legesse, Simon Bereket, Kassa Tekle Birhan, etc. ruling Amhara region?

    The atrocities committed on Ethiopians by Tigraians Agazi forces are inhumane and unforgettable for generations on almost all ethnic groups. I do not think Ethiopians would want to live with Tigraians.

  5. Hailu

    October 9, 2016 at 7:05 AM

    የሞቱት ሰዎች ቁቲር ከ 700 በላይ ነዉ