Ethnic Violence Erupts in Ethiopia; Thousands Arrested

September 24, 2018 11:42 pm57 commentsViews: 77

Thousands of people were arrested in the period of past one week in Ethiopia following ethnic violence and amid criticisms by people little has been done in the matter. Many of the detained are sent to military camps for rehabilitation.

Africa’s second most populous nation has for long exercised control over the citizens, but lately series of reforms have changed such face. The new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, who is also a former army officer, sought peace opening access to TV channels and websites, and freeing prisoners. He invited banned leaders to return from exile.

Ethiopia until recently was paving way towards China’s model but Ahmen has come up with a dramatic change, but it has resulted with another episode of ethnic violence. It is argued easing of state political controls has led to fresh violence. Critics say both are connected as banned leaders may have energized the groups again and as a result have amplified their reach.

Some of the banned leaders and organizations are ethnic in nature and return back has complicated the political discourse of the country. Privileges offered to them by the government have given them a boost.

Meanwhile, it is true the fresh ethnic violence has coincided with return of 1,500 Oromo Liberation Front fighters who were in exile in Eritrea.

Now a common complaint echoes, “It makes me question where the government stands on protecting its citizens.”

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