Death toll rising in West Arsi, regime using American Humvees to crackdown on protesters, Zenawi’s portrait set ablaze

News (February 18, 2016)

The protest in West Arsi, Oromia region of Ethiopia, continued today despite brutal crackdown by the regime that’s now rolling its American donated Humvees in the streets to boost up its operation against protesters who demanded political and economic rights.

ESAT’s sources in the region say at least 17 people were killed by the Agazi forces, the regime’s snipers, in the last five days of protest in the area that began on Friday when the forces decided to shot at a bus full of wedding goers for the trivial reason that the partiers refused to turn down a music playing on the radio, a favorite song among the protesters. Four were injured in that shooting. Protest against that brutal attack then engulfed Shashemene and the surrounding towns with the local militia responding to fires from the Agazi forces killing at least 7 of them.

Protesters effectively blocked roads in every town to fend off the Agazi forces from reaching their neck of the woods. Reports filed by the Oromo Media Network show regimes forces using helicopters and American Humvees to try to reach the localities.

In this strongest show of resistance against the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia by one of the largest ethnic groups in the country, the minority regime has lost control of the towns in the Oromia region where protesters effectively blocked roads fending off the forces coming to attack them. Protesters in Dodola took down the portrait of Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s late dictator, and set it ablaze, in a rare show strong rejection to the system and the minority rule.

“The regime has lost control and this protest is one among numerous manifestations that it has lost credibility; and whatever semblance of legitimacy has vanished,” a close observer of political developments in Ethiopia told ESAT today.

“The tyrannical regime uses not only it’s anti-terrorism law to crackdown on opponents, but also weapons it acquires under the name of fighting terrorists in Somalia, against peaceful protesters,” he added referring to the American Humvees being used to clear the blockages by the protesters.