Agazi soldiers murder 10, hold Ambo hostage
By Ethiomedia
October 27, 2017

Editor's Note - At least 10 people were killed and 15 wounded October 26 after Agazi soldiers opened fire on protesters in Ambo town, witnesses have said. Heavily armed forces have laid seige to Ambo, 130 km southwest of Addis Ababa, and a town that has become the symbol of resistance to TPLF rule. Offices, businesses and schools are closed in Ambo, where three heavy-duty trucks that were transporting sugar to Addis were burned down by angry protesters who lost their brothers to Agazi bullets. TPLF faces popular opposition across the nation, and instead of preparing to transfer power in an orderly manner, the ruling party looks determined to tear the country apart by inciting civil war.

The regime faces little or no condemnation from Western countries, mainly the United States, which sees the rogue regime as its partner in the war on terror. The West's rather cold indifference to the crimes TPLF is inflicting on the people, observers say, has emboldened TPLF to go on a killing spree of non-violent citizens of the country.

Following is a Reuters report:

Protesters had blocked the main road in Ambo, some 130 km west of the capital Addis Ababa, to demonstrate against sugar shortages, before police arrived to disperse the crowd.

“They (police) then fired live rounds. We know of ... five people who died from gunshot wounds,” one of the protesters told Reuters. Another witness said he saw up to 10 wounded people taken to hospital.

The regional government’s spokesman confirmed that deaths had occurred, but did not give details.

“Demonstrations happening in Ambo have resulted in death and injuries,” Addisu Arega Kitessa said in a Facebook statement, adding that they were organised by “enemies” of the region.

The province was wracked by protests for months in 2015 and 2016.

Nearly 700 people were killed last year in one bout of unrest provoked by plans to implement a development scheme for Addis Ababa that opponents said amounted to a land grab, according to a Parliament-mandated investigation.

Broader anti-government demonstrations over politics and human rights abuse then followed, forcing the government to impose a nine-month state of emergency that was finally lifted in August.

Separately, ethnic clashes killed at least 11 people this week in the same region. Another bout of violence along Oromiya’s border with the country’s Somali region last month displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

The developments highlight tensions in the country where the government has delivered high economic growth but it often accused of curbing political freedoms.

The government denies clamping down on free speech and blames rebel groups and dissidents abroad for stirring up violence. - An African-American news and views website.
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