Civilians’ death, strike follows Ethiopia’s state of emergency endorsement

Following the endorsement of the controversial state of emergency by the parliament on Friday, some towns of Oromia Region  including, those surrounding the capital Addis Ababa, have begun strike on Monday while some towns witnessed death and injuries of civilians.

On the second day of strike businesses and transportation are out of service, according to sources from Oromia towns found at the outskirts of Addis Ababa such as, Welete, Sebeta and Burayu, among others. Social media information says the strike is called for a total of three days.

Before the approval of the state of Emergency Jawar Mohammed, the U.S. Minisota based Oromio activist who is known to lead Oromo youth protests using social media, has told the members of the parliament to reject the decree. He warned that the passing of the decree will not stop the struggle of the Oromo youth known as, Qeerroo (unmarried Oromo youth).

Following yesterday’s strike on some parts of Oromia Region, the command post, which is in-charge of implementing the state of emergency has advised the people from involving in strikes that causes interruption of services and movement of goods from one place to another.

After the approval of the state of emergency, over the weekend the Voice of America Amharic language service reported death and injury of people in some towns of Oromia Region including, Ambo, Ginchi, Horogudru, Nekemte, Gimbi towns in West and East Welega.

One 65 years old father of eight girls and two boys is shot and dead by security forces while one of the boys is injured and taken to a hospital, according to the VOA report which talked to the mother and her remaining son.

In another report of VOA talking to a doctor at Gimbi Adventist Hospital, who said that 8 are shot of which one dead as well as four beaten by severely security forces.

Today in one of his posts on Facebook, which has 1.3 million followers
Jawar said, “Give it up TPLF. Retaking Oromia is not only impossible, it is unimaginable. The State of Emergency has been defeated in parliament and effectively defied on streets. There is nothing you can do about it. Qeerroo rules Oromia not your cronies. Sit down with opposition and sort out safe exit before it is too late…”

In a related development the Command post chief Siraj Fegessa told media on Tuesday that after the endorsement of the state of emergency by the parliament 17 security forces are wounded during a clash while four cars were burned by what he called anti-peace forces.

But he didn’t mentioned the number of civilian causalities. Meanwhile VOA’s Tuesday evening report shows that so far six people were killed while close to two dozens are injured by the action taken by the security forces in Oromia Region.

In a related development,   United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson whose government opposed Ethiopia’s state of emergency is expected to arrive Addis Ababa tomorrow.

Secretary Tillerson will discuss about the issues of Oromia and the power transition with Ethiopian officials, according to Ambassador Donald Yamamoto, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, who made teleconference with African journalists yesterday afternoon.

For now it is expected that Secretary Tillerson, who is also set to visit, Kenya, Djibouti, Chad and Nigeria, can influence the Ethiopian government to reverse the state of emergency.