UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — At least 16 people have been killed in clashes this week in Ethiopia, according to Amnesty International, prompting opposition leader Johar Mohamed Friday to accuse Prime Minister Nobel peace laureate Abu Ahmed of acting like a “dictator”.
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Violence erupted on Wednesday in the capital Addis Ababa before spreading to the Oromiya region after opposition supporters took to the streets, burning tires, erecting roadblocks and blocking roads in several cities.
Police denied accusations that they had tried to push the opposition’s security apparatus to weaken it in the face of a possible attack from political opponents.
“So far, 16 people have been confirmed, but the total number is probably higher,” said Amnesty International researcher Fisse Tekle. “There is information still to be confirmed.”
“Some of them were beaten with sticks and machetes. Houses were burned. Firearms were used,” he told AFP.
The Defense Ministry announced on Friday the deployment of military personnel in seven areas where the situation remains tense.
“Abyei Ahmed resorted to a sign of a prelude to a dictatorship. He tried to intimidate people, including his allies who enabled him to take power and disagree with some of his positions,” 32-year-old dissident Jawhar Mohammed said in an interview at his residence in Addis Ababa.
“Intimidation is the prelude to dictatorship.”
Jawhar Mohammed was instrumental in the anti-government demonstrations that led to the overthrow of Abyei’s predecessor and the appointment of the latter in April 2018 as prime minister, an Oromo reformer.
The Tigray, who account for only 6 percent of the population, had long dominated Ethiopia’s rule.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front was behind the violent overthrow of the Marxist military regime in 1991 and has dominated Ethiopia’s ruling coalition since then, the Revolutionary Front of the Ethiopian People.
But demonstrations led by the country’s two largest ethnic groups, Oromo and Tigray, defeated the front. Although the Tigray People’s Liberation Front is still within the revolutionary direction, it has been removed from many key positions.
He accuses his opponents of inciting ethnic hatred in Africa’s second most populous country (110 million people).
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