UN demands Ethiopia admit observers amid reports dozens killed in protests

UN high commissioner for human rights says reports from two regions were ‘extremely alarming’ with allegations of abuses by security forces

Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration over what they say is unfair distribution of wealth in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration over what they say is unfair distribution of wealth in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

The United Nations has urged Ethiopia to allow international observers in to parts of the country hit by deadly weekend clashes between security forces and protesters.

At least 49 people were killed at the weekend as the authorities cracked down on a wave of anti-government unrest in two key regions, central-western Oromia and Amhara in the north.

A spokeswoman for the UN high commissioner for human rights in Geneva said news coming from the two regions was “extremely alarming”, saying there had been “no genuine attempt at ensuring accountability” since reports of abuses by security forces began emerging in December.

“We urge the government to allow access for international observers into the affected regions to be able to establish what exactly transpired,” the spokeswoman said.

Demonstrations began in November 2015 in Oromia, which surrounds the capital, over a government plan to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa.

The region’s Oromo people feared their farmland would be seized, and though the authorities soon dropped the urban enlargement project and brutally suppressed the protests, the anger has continued.

Protests have since swept other parts of Oromia, and more recently to Amhara, causing disquiet in the corridors of power in the country, a key US ally and crucial partner in the fight against terrorism in east Africa.

One rally was even held in Addis Ababa on Saturday, a rare event in the capital of a nation ruled by a regime considered among the most repressive in Africa.

More than 60% of the country’s almost 100 million people are either Amhara or Oromo.

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Posted by on August 11, 2016. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to UN demands Ethiopia admit observers amid reports dozens killed in protests

  1. Huda Kesew

    August 11, 2016 at 4:26 AM

    This time is አ calling of life saving .If no response from አ globe the future relation people to people will be faced problem.Come and find short solution otherwise the community it self will be. solve it.

  2. Belete Asfaw

    August 11, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Obama shame on you to saiy the ethiopian government is elected demcratically. Obama you knew that there is no democracy in ethiopia. Beacause of they are helping you fight with the Somalian terrorists you dont have to stand with thugs and have the innocient peaple of killed day in day out. i had so much respect for you Obama but no more. i thought you will bring hope for Africa insead you gave full support to this dictores to crack down the peacfull proteters and have them get killed in the broad light also shame on you Britail when you know in the first hand the your citezen (Andargachew Tisge) has fallen in this crul prison subjected for torch and others ill treatments, you didnt do any thing, i dont blame you we have NO oil we are not as important as Iran, Iraq and sawdi. but let me ask you a question what about your moral and concessiones? atleas you cand do some thing— stop sending your MONEY TO THIS REGIM. KNOW THIS— EVERY TIME YOU SEND AID YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE KILLING ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE. PLEASE STOP!!