Hundreds of protesters clashed with police Saturday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa after campaigners called for nationwide protests due to what they say is an unfair distribution of wealth in the country.
Violence broke out as police tried to stop several hundred chanting protesters from accessing the historic Meskel square.
The demonstrations started as a small-scale student protest over the government’s plan to expand Addis Ababa into adjacent farm lands of Oromiya, Ethiopia’s largest constitutionally autonomous state.
Now they have evolved into a series of large and bloody demonstrations against the government, leaving hundreds dead and thousands jailed.
On Friday, two people were killed in similar clashes with police in Ethiopia’s ancient city of Gonder. The violence broke out when police brought one of the leaders of the land campaign movement to court.
Protestors chanting “Freedom!”
Chief administrator of the Amhara region, Gedu Andargachew, has declared the protests illegal and said security services will take measures against those who take part.
In a country known for cracking down on dissent, the public protests are rare.
But tensions over the status of Wolkayt — a stretch of land that protestors from the region of Amhara say were illegal incorporated in the neighbouring Tigray region — have been embroiling for at least the past 25 years.
Harar,August 6, 2016
Addis Ababa,August 6, 2016
Shashemene,August 6, 2016
Gondar,August 5, 2016