Tight security amid continuing protest as African leaders gather in Addis Ababa

ESAT News (January 28, 2016)

Protest continued in the Oromia region of Ethiopia on Thursday despite ruling party officials’ media announcement on Wednesday that the two month protest had been brought under control. There has been heavy security presence both in and outside the capital Addis Ababa, the venue of the African Union leaders summit due to be held on Saturday.

Heavy security and military personnel were deployed in towns surrounding the capital Addis Ababa, the scene of the two month protest by the people against government’s plan to expand the city limits. The government deployed military personnel to Sebeta and Chancho, towns just in the outskirts the capital, for fear of another round of protest by the residents. The government has also banned any public gathering in the capital.

Sources say at several locations in Addis Ababa and at various checkpoints into the capital, cars were stopped and searched by security personnel, while people were asked to show their IDs.

Meanwhile, protesters took to the streets in Guji, North Shewa, East and West Haharghe demanding the perpetrators of the killings and atrocities committed in the last two months to be brought to justice. They also demanded the army deployed in their villages to leave immediately.

Over 150 people were killed and unknown numbers sustained injuries while an estimated 5000 people have been detained by the government. The UN, EU and a number of international organizations condemned the killing of peaceful protesters and demanded perpetrators to face justice.