3 July 2012 [ESAT]
The political tension in Sidama Zone and in particular at Awassa City is far from settled, reports show.
On Sunday July 1, 2012, there was a conflict between group of individuals and the Ethiopian Federal Police forces patrolling the city. One individual is said to have dies of gunshot wounds.
According to the news report, the conflict was initiated by the Federal police forces on a group of Sidamas on wedding celebration. The patrolling Federal Police forces opened fire on a wedding crowd at Woldeamanuel Dubale Avenue. The random firing and killing of one individual instigated the wedding crowd to throw stone at the armed police forces which led to the police forces to fire a lot of bullets.
Gun fires are still heard in town. The city is being patrolled by heavily armed Federal Police forces. Our reporter says there is a growing fear for a much serious confrontation and conflict in the city. There is a palpable fear among the people that the Ethiopian Federal Police forces could still respond to their demand heavy handedly reminiscent of the 2002 Loque massacre.
Only last week university students, employees of Agricultural Bureau, the region’s police, and member of the region’s parliament have formed a strong 300 member organization called Sidama Youth Movement. The movement is tasked to spearhead the political fight to bring statehood to ethnic Sidamas.