Worrying Developments in Eastern Ethiopia



BBC World Service

At least two people have died in protests in Ethiopia. More than 600 have been displaced during the clashes on Tuesday in towns in the east of the country.

Demonstrators accuse a police unit of carrying out killings and human rights abuses against the Oromo people.

The government has blamed the clashes on a border dispute between the Oromo and their neighbours in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

It says it has now sent in the military to carry out a disarmament exercise.

The conflict has been raging for months but escalated this week in violent confrontations.

In August, the government lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed following more than two years of anti-government protests.

Many Ethiopians accuse the government’s securities and its policy of ethnic federalism as the main causes of the increasing ethnic clashes in Ethiopia as well as this specific case of Somali-Oromo “ethnic” clashes. On social media, many Ethiopian activists are expressing their fear that the level of inter-ethnic clashes in the country are reaching a point of no return. Transport and communication between major towns and localities bordering Oromia and Somali regions of Ethiopia have been interrupted.