13 civilians were killed by members of the Ethiopian army in Moyale town, on the border between Ethiopia and Kenya, in a mistaken security crackdown on 10 March. 20 others were also wounded and 16 reported missing. The insecurity has displaced over 8,200 people to neigbouring Kenya. ?
The government released some opposition leaders on 14 February after mass protests in Addis Ababa.??? On 15 February, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn submitted his resignation letter and on 16 February, the government announced a six-month state of emergency in an attempt to quell protests. It will include a ban on protest rallies and allows police to search homes and make arrests without warrant. The government may impose a curfew. ???Ethiopians are protesting the state of emergency, mainly in the capital and Oromia region. However, Ethiopian lawmakers have approved the state of emergency announced by the government on 2 February. ???
Government forces continue to use violence against anti-government protests. In 2017 thousands of protesters were detained and hundreds killed.????No one is taking responsibility for organising recent protests. Oromo activists who organised demonstrations in 2015 have distanced themselves from the current events.?? In early 2018, violence has moved beyond Oromia into the Amhara region. Seven people were killed during a religious festival when security forces shot at crowds chanting anti-government protests.?
Anti-government protests began over land rights in the Oromia region, the biggest group in Ethiopia, in November 2015. Later, protests broadened against the Tigray-dominated government on issues including inequality, cultural rights, economic marginalisation, corruption, and lack of political space. Protests spread to the Amhara region, the second biggest group in the country. Protests were met with a brutal government response in which hundreds of people were killed.?? More than 61% of the population in Ethiopia are Oromo and Amhara ethnicity. ??Foreign ministry and other key government posts are held by Tigrayans, who account for 6% of the country's population.?? Violence escalated in October 2016 and a state of emergency was imposed, to be lifted only in August 2017. ??? Although promising deep reform, the government has not addressed fundamental issues such as demands to open up political space, and to allow dissent and tolerance of different perspectives.?
Somali - Oromia Clashes
Clashes between Oromos and Somali groups ethnic over border demarcations and resources have caused significant casualties, deaths and displacement beginning in September 2017. ? Since the beggining of 2017, dozens of clashes and hundreds of fatalities have occured as a result of fighting between the Liyu Police (the Somali State's paramilitary force) and Oromo militias.?? The Somali regional government claims that attacks are being launched by members within the Oromo government, in conjunction with the Oromo Liberation Front, a group branded as terrorists by the government of Ethiopia. Some Oromia activists believe the situation has been orchestrated by the federal government, who are using the Liyu police to divert attention away from the issue of suppression of the Oromo people, whose concerns remain unaddressed. ????
Media censorship is common in Ethiopia but was further reinforced following the last state of emergency in 2017, with many journalists engaging in self-censorship to avoid harassment or arrests. Since 2010, at least 75 journalists have fled the country. Access to the internet is frequently blocked and international radio signals are frequently interrupted. Social media was a key factor in mobilising protesters and is since carefully monitored by authorities. ?