Youths believed to be Oromo nationalists protested in the capital Addis Ababa on Wednesday, September 12, reportedly chanting in the local Oromo language, raising the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) flag, and painting the flag on walls throughout the city. Protesters also reportedly tried to burn the Ethiopia flag. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Protests are reportedly taking place again on Thursday, September 13, with people erecting roadblocks, throwing stones, and burning objects, notably in the Pastor neighborhood of the capital. The Federal Police are reportedly present; further clashes between protesters and police are likely. Localized traffic disruptions are possible near the demonstration sites. Additional protests are possible in Addis Ababa in the coming days.
The OLF seeks self-determination for the Oromo people, and OLF rebels have fought an insurgency against Ethiopia since the 1970s. The OLF declared a unilateral ceasefire on July 5, 2018, after the Ethiopian parliament rescinded its designation of the OLF as a terrorist organization, and peace deal was signed on August 7. Following the peace deal, the OLF agreed to conduct its political activities in Ethiopia through peaceful means.
Individuals in Addis Ababa are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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