Violence in Ethiopian capital ahead of opposition group's return

2018-09-13 21:01
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Clashes broke out in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on Thursday ahead of the return of an opposition group popular with the country's largest ethnicity the Oromo.

The violence appeared linked to the homecoming for the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) as part of a sweeping reform agenda launched by new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

An AFP journalist said federal police clashed with men armed with sticks and stones, while a passenger bus appeared to have been pelted with rocks near the Piazza neighbourhood.

On Twitter, the British embassy warned of violence in Piazza and also in the Karl Square area, while the United States embassy said in a statement it was "monitoring reports of protest and unrest throughout Addis Ababa, with police deployed in response".

It was unclear what sparked the unrest, but the violence appeared to be linked to reports that Oromo activist youths known as Qeerroo had painted the colours of the OLF flag in parts of Addis Ababa.

The move sparked retaliation from residents of the ethnically diverse city, which is surrounded by Oromia, the region home to the Oromo ethnic group to which Abiy belongs and from where the OLF draws its membership.

The AFP journalist said the groups of young men were carrying an older version of the Ethiopian flag popular with another opposition group, Ginbot 7, while chanting "come out and defend your flag".

Addressing the violence in the capital, Abiy on Thursday said "we should not marginalise political parties coming from abroad".

"As there will be no a single winner, we should cooperate [with] each other by resolving our differences through dialogue," Abiy told state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

The leadership of the OLF will return to Ethiopia on Saturday, Fana reported.

The group is returning after the Abiy government removed it from Ethiopia's list of terrorist organisations.

Oromia and Addis Ababa have long had an uneasy relationship.

An attempt by the government to expand the capital's borders into Oromia was decried by Oromos as a land grab and sparked more than two years of unrest in the region that played a role in Abiy's rise to power.

Some Oromos believe the capital, a chartered city separate from Oromia, should be part of the region though the city is home to a range of ethnicities from across Ethiopia, Africa's second most-populous country.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    ethiopia  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.