Friday, October 25, 2019

Ethiopia: Jawar Mohammed Statement Triggers Violence, at Least Six Killed in Oromo Region
Hours after Jawar Mohammed claimed on a facebook page that armed group are deployed in the area of his residence, his followers swing to violence halting business activities and mobility in some towns in Oromo region of Ethiopia. It is not yet verified if armed groups were deployed to his residence

October 23, 2019

Several towns in Oromo region of Ethiopia are reportedly experiencing security crisis as youth groups who call themselves “Qeerroo” are taking to the streets following owner of Oromia Media Network and radical ethnic Oromo nationalist, Jawar Mohammed, shared an update on his Facebook page  on Tuesday night saying that government is removing security personnel from his residence.

Ambo, Adama, Shashemele, and Awoday in Harar are some of the towns where protest broke out, according to a report by BBC Amharic service.

At least six people are reportedly killed. BBC Amharic cited Ambo hospital director Debebe Fetene to report that three people were killed, and they were reportedly shot. Residents of the city claim that three other people were wounded.

It happened after a confrontation between police and protestors. Police fired tear gas to disperse it but were apparently overpowered by protestors who were throwing rocks at police.

In Adama (Nazret), there was a clash between groups who condemn the radicalized ethnic Oromo nationalist youth groups who call themselves “qeerroo” and youth groups who are said to be supporters of Jawar Mohammed.

Ethiopian Defense Force and Oromo regional state police force were deployed in Adama to control the clash.

Regarding casualties in Adama, the city’s communication office head,Rawuda Hussien, said that a security guard in the city’s flour factory shot and killed two people. The communication officer did not explain why he did so. But she has said that “angry mob ” burned 15 vehicles parked on the premises of the flour factory.

As well, widespread looting and anarchy are reported in the city.

In Aweday town, East Harar, a young man is killed, said the city’s mayor Jafar Muhammed. He said he was killed by a bullet shot from members of the defense force. According to the mayor, cited by BBC Amharic, the young man whose name was not disclosed was killed in Hamaressa, a place between Harar and Today.

Situations are a bit different in Shashemene. No casualty has been reported so far. The city is located along the Addis Ababa- Hawassa road and it is confirmed that the road between these two Ethiopian cities is closed by Qeerroo. Ethiopian Federal Police has confirmed about the road closure.

Also, Ethiopian Federal Police has disclosed on Wednesday entrances to Addis Ababa,  roads in Jomo and in some towns in Oromo region of Ethiopia are closed.

What caused road closures and protests?

The Federal Police said in a statement shared on social media on Wednesday that the closures are related to a message that Jawar Mohammed conveyed to his followers and supporters.

The gist of the message was “I am going to be arrested; I am facing imminent attack,” said the federal police in a statement written in Amharic. However, no measure is taken on the part of the police or government, and he is in good condition.

borkena reported on Tuesday that Jawar Mohammed, who was based in Minnesota until recently disclosed that he is renouncing his US citizenship, claimed in a Facebook post that government removed his “security details,” as he calls it, in the middle of the night without informing him and he interpreted that as a move to endanger him. He added that armed groups are deployed in the area of his residence and said that his “guards have the right to defend himself.”

The Federal police are seizing the moment to explain why the government has to assign security personnel for an individual. Based on the statement from the department, the government decided to provide security protection for leaders of political leaders and activists who returned to Ethiopia following the election of Abiy Ahmed, by the ruling coalition, as prime minister of Ethiopia – which the government refers to as “change.”

Now, the situation in the country is showing significant improvement and that those politicians and activists who returned to Ethiopia could move freely like any other Ethiopian, said the statement from the Federal Police.

Ethiopians have been critical of preferential treatment, and police statement seem to answer the question of many Ethiopians.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Wednesday that about 400 youth groups gathered in the residence of Jawar Mohammed, and they were chanting anti-Abiy Ahmed slogans. 

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