Massive crackdown in Ethiopia less than a week after thousands were pardoned

January 10,2917

Debre Markos anti-government protest
Debre Markos Protest / File

Regime in Ethiopia seem to be showing no signs of security. Barely a week after Oromia regional state announced that it has pardoned around 10,000 prisoners, there are reports that it has mounted new massive crackdown on youth.

There was similar massive arrest in Amhara region of Ethiopia, reported by Ethiopian Satellite Television citing its sources from the region.

In Oromia region, Adama (which is the seat of Oromia regional state) and Guji in Borena zone of the regional state saw massive arrest of youth in the past few days.

Similarly, there was mass arrest in Gonder,remained defiant to repression for well over six months now,and Awi zone in Gojjam; hundreds are reported arrested.


Reason for the new arrest?

ESAT report indicated that the arrest was in connection with alleged attack on supporters of the regime during the protest in Amhara and Oromia regions of Ethiopia.

Apart from not ending the state of emergency, in effect for nearly four months now, new crackdown suggests either anticipation of resurging popular protest in Oromia and Amhara regions of Ethiopia or regime’s interest to elevate the level of repression as a means to maintain a hold in power.

At the same time, the regime claims that it is undergoing what it calls an in-depth revival of the party.

According to modest estimates by opposition parties and human rights organizations in Ethiopia, more than one thousand people were killed in the Amhara and Oromia regions of Ethiopia during the protest since the month of July and August 2016 alone. Hundreds more wounded and tends of thousands were arrested in different concentration camps in the country.

Meanwhile, government announced that government will not set free leading opposition figure, Merera Gudina,who was arrested upon his return from European Parliament hearing.

The political crisis gave rise chronic economic crisis. Prime minister Hailemariam Desalegne admitted that Ethiopia is experiencing dire foreign currency shortage.

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