Repression (almost) ignored in Ethiopia

Posted by Abbay Media: Translation from French.

Repression (almost) ignored in Ethiopia September 1 2016 BY AGNES DRUEL BLOG : BLOG AGNÈS DRUEL Since November 2015, demonstrations in the Oromo region ( Central and Western countries) and Amhara ( north) taking place in Ethiopia. At the root of these manifestations , a denunciation of the domination of the ruling minority , Tigrayans . To date, about 700 people were killed by the government of Haile Mariam Desalegn .

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Without the heroic gesture of marathon Feyisa Lilesa at Rio Olympics Games, the bloody crackdown on protesters in which undertook the Ethiopian government would go unnoticed in the international community. Originally the wrath of the Oromo people, grabbing their land by the state , which then sells to multinational , but also the population explosion in the capital Addis Ababa , which therefore brings the city to grow and therefore deprive the Oromo land surrounding the capital ( in 10 years, more than 150,000 Oromo farmers have been driven off their land by the state ) .

 

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The inhabitants of the regions of Gondar and Bahar Dar in northern Ethiopia have meanwhile joined the movement to fight following a request from the Welkait-Tegede community to see their region administered by the Amhara and not by Tigrayans . Indeed, 25 years ago, when the party currently in place came to power (Revolutionary Democratic Front), a federal law on the Feed cutter regions based on language is applied for. The Welkait-Tegede, despite their obvious affiliation to the Amhara tribe, are then seen to join the Tigray administration despite their strong disapproval. The protest movement is amplified early August in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa who was spared the events became the scene of a bloody police crackdown Saturday, August 6 following a gathering of about 500 Oromo protesters in the square Meskel Square. There will be 6 officially died that day in the Ethiopian capital. Following this event, the government takes the decision to cut internet for almost a week. Friday, August 12, the Internet is again available in the country, and calls for demonstrations are then launched .more these mobilizations on social networks, bus companies cancel all correspondence towards Addis Ababa, the army hurried through the streets of various cities, buses and other vehicles will be searched multiple times on the same trip, and various checks of identities and body searches still operated by the Ethiopian army. A Shashamane, a town south of Addis Ababa, the situation is tense weekend of 12 August. Here, government intimidation are no longer afraid, and everyone is determined to enforce its rights and to affirm its opposition to government practices. The French, living in Ethiopia for 12 years, we are expressing their astonishment. According to them, Ethiopia was a model of stability in Africa, but recent events have demonstrated their otherwise. Indeed, the repression of the military that have affected Shashamane the week of August 5, forced them to confine themselves during 3 days, then living in his exchanges with Kalashnikovs of gunfire between protesters and state representative.

However, despite these strong repression, the international media do not always relay the crimes committed there. Little information is available in the online media. There is also a negation of the drama of the journalists  of the national channel ETV Ethiopia regarding the alarming situation of the country. These are the choice of broadcasting reports on unusual weddings in China rather than relay the latest news, the same TV channel obviously owned by the government. It will then wait for the marathon Feyisa Lilesa crosses the finish line at Rio Olympics Games, so that the media finally deal with the Ethiopian situation. Then fell in the greatest silence. Ethiopian activists, however, are trying to alarm the world about their situation and the crimes perpetrated by the army since the beginning of the conflict. One of the activists I expressed concern about the situation which he said is getting worse in Amhara region in recent weeks. There would be from the beginning of August more than 200 victims reported. Several days of operations “dead city” took place in the north of the country (Gondar and Bahar Dar have experienced 3 consecutive days of what is called “Stay at home protest”.) To denounce the bloody repression which Ethiopian victims. However, clashes have since resumed and for the single day of 30 August, the Gondar region accounts for 15 deaths. The region of Bahar Dar, is also covered with blood with 4 deaths for the same day of 30 August, and several wounded. All roads leading to Bahar Dar are closed to traffic. Most officials have fled the area, preferring to hide in Addis Ababa. Farmers, themselves, continue to revolt, as shown by the recent fires horticultural farms, one of the thorny issues of the revolt, Ethiopia finished just behind Kenya in Africa and the 4th in the world for growing roses , responding to the increasing demand of the European market during the Valentine among others. These horticultural farms, located in the lake district of the Rift Valley, are subject to many controversies: draining of lakes, massive spill of pesticides, working conditions extremely precarious employees, but also land grabbing by multinational. …On 31 August, many vehicle Ethiopian troops were seen in Addis Ababa , taking the lead in Amhara suggesting other uprisings and announcement of new government repression.

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