News Alerts

02 Jul 2020 | 01:35 PM UTC

Ethiopia: Security forces clash with mourners in Ambo (Oromia region) July 2 /update 6

Ethiopia News Alert

Ethiopian security forces reportedly clash with mourners in Ambo (Oromia region) on July 2 during funeral for prominent Oromo activist; further unrest possible in the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/2/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/5/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Addis_Ababa). COUNTRY/REGION Ambo, Addis Ababa

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Event

Clashes between Ethiopian security forces and mourners trying to attend the funeral of the Oromo activist and singer, Haacaaluu Hundeesssa, injured at least six people in the Oromia region town of Ambo on Thursday morning, July 2. Additional security forces had been deployed to the town prior to the funeral, and international media reports suggest that the clashes started when security forces were attempting to prevent mourners from entering the stadium where the funeral took place.

The death of the activist who was shot dead in Addis Ababa on Monday, June 29, sparked widespread unrest in Addis Ababa and across the Oromia region on Tuesday, June 30, and Wednesday, July 1, in which at least 81 people were killed.

The Ethiopian military has reportedly been deployed in Addis Ababa following a second consecutive day of unrest on Wednesday, July 1, with roadblocks on some major routes in and out of the capital. Groups of civilians armed with machetes and sticks have also allegedly been seen roaming in several neighborhoods of the capital, with clashes reported between Oromo activists and other ethnic groups, as well as with local security forces.

A heightened security presence is likely in Ambo and throughout the Oromia region, as well as in Addis Ababa, in the near term and there remains an elevated risk of unrest and clashes.

Context

Despite Abiy's appointment as Prime Minister in 2018 and the end of the widespread protest campaigns and a state of emergency in the Oromia region, tensions between the government and the Oromo community have remained high in Addis Ababa. Unrest and clashes between protesters and security forces have repeatedly broken out following the killing or arrest of prominent Oromo activists, amid claims that they are being discriminated against in the capital.

Advice

Those in Ethiopia are advised to monitor developments and heed any directives issued by local authorities. All demonstrations and political gatherings in Ethiopia should be avoided due to the high risk of incidental violence and aggressive crowd-dispersal operations by security forces.

 

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