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Published On: Sat, Mar 3rd, 2018

Ethiopia: Protesters block roads, Security forces kill 4 as activists call for nationwide protests

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By Ahmed Abdi
At least four people died after Security forces clashed with protesters angered by the state’s martial law on Saturday, eyewitnesses said.
In defiance of State of emergency approved by the Parliament, protesters blocked roads in Ambo, Gimbi, Nejo, Canqaa and situation is very tense, according to an eyewitness who asked not to be named.
Protesters blocked roads entering the cities of  Burayu, Ginchi, Ambo, Guder, Bako, Gedo, Woliso, Mendi, Gimbi, Neqemte, Shambu
 and Nejo.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s defense forces took control of the Ambo city Oromia Regional State. Activists called for stay-at-home protest starting from Monday. the new strike is fueled by the MPs decision that 346 of 441 Ethiopian Parliament voted, “Yes”. 88 MPs, most of them from Oromia, rejected the State Council’s martial law. 7 MPs abstained.
United States of America condemned the state of Emergency and called for a “greater freedom, not less.”
The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia objected to last week’s declaration of a state of emergency. “The challenges facing Ethiopia, whether to democratic reform, economic growth, or lasting stability, are best addressed through inclusive discourse and political processes, rather than through the imposition of restrictions,” the embassy said in a statement. “Restrictions on the ability of the Ethiopian people to express themselves peacefully sends a message that they are not being heard.”
Ethiopia has more than 90 ethnic groups, the two largest of which are the Oromo and the Amhara. While these two groups make up around two-thirds of all Ethiopians, it is the Tigrayans, who account for a meager 6% of the population, that dictate politics and the security forces.
Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) has been ruling Ethiopia since 1991 after Eritrean Independence forces ousted dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.
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