ESAT News (March 10, 2016)
At least 200 people have been detained in Konso, south Ethiopia, following demand by the people for self-administration as per the constitution of the land. Regime’s forces have been responding heavy handedly since last Saturday when they arrested Konso’s traditional king, Kala Gezahegn, a member of the elder’s committee spearheading the movement told ESAT. A court in Konso adjourned his case to March 21, 2016.
The source also said the 12 member elders committee was in hiding as operatives of the regime were in search for them. The latest round of protest in Konso began in October when an over 50,000 people held a demonstration demanding self-administration.
The people presented their demand to the federal government through their representatives but the iron fist regime responded by arresting dozens of youth. Protesters, some of them armed, blocked the Arba Minch – Jinka road that passes through Konso on Saturday but the federal police have ploughed their way through arresting several people, according to sources. Security forces on Tuesday killed a man, Soyta Gara in a locality known as Debena Kebele.
Special Forces of the region also went to rural villages of Doktu, Durayte, Kaho, Dara, Kolmena and Jarso, beating and arresting several villagers. The source said hundreds of people have been detained at the premise of the Konso Technical School. Among the detained include five members of the local council, who stood by the people in their constitutional demand for self-administration.
Schools and government offices have remained closed and the UN earlier in the week warned its staff against travelling to Konso.