by Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (January 24, 2019)
Violence that began on Monday in Ethiopia’s eastern commercial town left several people wounded, according to residents who spoke to ESAT. Gunshot wounds have also been reported.
An epiphany procession carrying the holy tablet came under attack by a stone throwing group on Monday triggering a counter protest in some parts of the city.
The protest evolved into broader demands by residents for equal rights for jobs and other opportunities in the city, which uses a quota system based on ethnic representation. The system called 40-40-20 is used in city government hiring in which 40 per cent of the jobs would be given to the Oromos, another 40 for the Somalis and 20 for the rest of ethnic groups.
The quota system, introduced years ago by the TPLF, the ethnic party that had been directly or indirectly running all regions and towns in Ethiopia, had faced backlash from the non Oromos and non Amharas, who said they were being treated as second-class citizens.
Residents blocked roads with burning tyres in Addis Ketema, Dechatu, Sabian, Gende Kore and Depot subdivisions of the city.
Some government offices were also set ablaze, according to information reaching ESAT.
A planned meeting between residents and Mayor of the city was cancelled after the Mayor failed to show up, driving more protests in the city.