The anti-government general strike called in mainly Oromo and Amhara regions of Ethiopia from 12-14 February 2018 is successfully underway in most towns, according to reports. The aim of the general strike is to demand the government to unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia, for the Defense Forces to leave regional towns and also the government to step aside.
Businesses mainly in major regional towns of Oromia have shut down as part of the protest. This is supposed to lead to shortage of goods and essential products in the capital and other regions in the next weeks and days.
This major road connecting Addis Abeba with Nazreth is closed too
Defense Forces have reportedly attacked protesting students in Haramaya University and the campus has now been fully closed.
There are also reports that Ethiopian government securities have continued killing civilian protesters in Hamaressa, East Haragae, Oromia region of Ethiopia today taking the lives of at least a dozen civilians since yesterday.
As the Ethiopian government prepares to celebrate the 6th Defence Force Day next week, Ethiopian activists from the Oromo and Amhara regional states have called for a general strike from Monday February 12 to 14, 2018, calls circulated on social media show.
Activists have called businesses and civil servants not to open or go to work on the next three working days.
Anti-government protests calling the EPRDF/TPLF regime to step aside began in 2015. Thousands have been killed, wounded and jailed so far but the protests have not stopped even when the government promised to release political prisoners and open up the political space.
It is at this critical point in the history of the incumbent when Ethiopia is in one of its most unstable, fragmented and vulnerable periods that the Defence Force Day is being celebrated with the intention of garnering support and unity. The Defence Forces have awarded and promoted thousands of its officers last week. Many on social media have questioned if there was anything that the army achieved rather than killing peaceful citizens who protested the government.