Addis Ababa(Reuters)DawitEndadhaw August 20, 2020- Clashes between Ethiopian security forces and protesters demanding the release of an opposition politician and a media magnate have killed at least nine people in the oromiya region surrounding the capital , health officials said on Thursday.
The unrest highlights growing divisions in Prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s Promo power base as powerful ethnic activists who were once allies increasingly challenge his government.
The protests starts on Thursday after a social media campaign for the release of prominent Oromo opposition leader Bekele Garba and Jawar Mohamed., both arrested days after the killing of an oromo musician Hacaalu Hundessa.
Jawar was once a staunch supporter of Abiy now turned vocal critic , while Bekele is a leader of an opposition promo political party.
The singer’s death sparked protests in the Capital Addis Ababa and spread to the surrounding oromiya region , killing at least 178 people.
Harar region Hiwot Fana and Jagol hospitals admitted 32 people with gun shot wounds on Tuesday, most from Oromiya Aweday Town , two doctors told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
Siv of the wounded died and one was in critical condition at Hiwot Fana Hospital , a doctor at the Hospital said. “They were shot in their head , chest and abdomen,” the doctor said.
In Ciro, 320 Km (200 miles ) east of Addis Ababa , 30 people were taken to hospital, 25 of them with bullet wounds, a health officials said. Two died on Tuesday and a third on Wednesday.
PM Abiy’s referred Reuters to the Oromiya regional government for comment.
Getachew Balcha, the Oromiya regional government spokesman , did not return calls or text messages seeking comment. The state run Ethiopian Human right commission called for an investigation.
” Authorities should ensure that the right to peaceful protest can be exercised , and law enforcement measures against anything beyond that do not exceed proportion, ” spokesman Aaron Maash said in a statement.
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