Strike to mark anniversary of Ethiopian regional unrest

Businesses closed a year after protests that led to hundreds of death

By Abebech Tamene


Protests saw businesses in Bahir Dar, the capital city of the northern Amhara region, closed on Monday to mark the first anniversary of anti-government demonstrations.

Police Commander Walelgn Dagnew told Anadolu Agency the strike had been organized through social media a year after unrest across Amhara and Oromia that left hundreds of people dead.

He added that “shops are closed in the city since early this morning but the transportation service has resumed this afternoon.”

Late Sunday, a bomb exploded in Bahir Dar without causing casualties. Dagnew said five suspects had been arrested.

Last Friday, parliament lifted the 10-month state of emergency imposed following anti-government unrest in Oromia and Amhara.

According to the government, at least 669 people died in protests initially sparked by plans to expand the territory of Addis Ababa, which led farmers to fear eviction and the loss of land.

The government later scrapped the proposals but the protests continued as the Oromo people — Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group — called for greater involvement in politics.


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