Ethiopia university protests over alleged rape

Elias Hordofa/ BBC Afaan Oromoo

Many students at Ethiopia’s Mizan-Tepi University are protesting after allegations of an attempted rape on Sunday.

Students say there is no tap water so they have to leave campus to get water from a river

Two men allegedly went into the women’s bathroom and tried to rape a student, but her shouts raised the alarm and they fled.

The alleged incident has prompted angry demonstrations, which started on campus and have now spread to the town of Mizan Teferi, which is 500km (310 miles) from the capital, Addis Ababa, in the south-west of the country.

Students say there have been five recent incidents when female students have been allegedly raped or sexually abused.

“Everybody is protesting against this, regardless of gender and ethnicity,’’ a female student, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the BBC.

“Such cases have been happening for the past few months,” she said.

One of the reasons female students were preyed upon by sexual predators was because there was no tap water at the university, she said.

So they were forced to go to a forested area to fetch water from a river as early as 04:00, leaving them vulnerable to attack.

The university administration has been told about their concerns, without any results, she said.

The student said she had now left the campus and was hiding in the town, where she felt safer.

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