Ethiopia: University closes for a week following student clashes

by Engidu Woldie

ESAT News (December 31, 2018)

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education says it has decided to shut down the Bule Hora University in southern Ethiopia for a week in a bid to give students respite after prolonged clashes hampered the teaching and learning process.

The Amhara students of the University say they have been targeted by the Oromo students. Several student have been injured in continued clashes between the two sides. The Amhara students spent the past ten nights outside their campus for fear of attacks.

Several attempts by the government and community leaders to bring peace to the campus did not bear fruit. About 40 students have been injured.

Dr. Hirut Woldemariam, Minister of Science and Higher Education, told ESAT that a fight between students that broke out at the University’s cafeteria has reignited clashes along ethnic lines. She said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has sent a telephone message to the students calling for calm and reason to prevail but to no avail.

Dr. Hirut said the conflict has been instigated by a handful of students.

Students will be requested to re-register when they return to the campus after a week, according to the Minister.