By | March 6, 2018

Ethiopians count losses from state of emergency

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

March 6, 2018 (Africa Review) — The endorsement of a controversial state of emergency by the parliament last Friday has prompted social unrest in parts of Ethiopia.

The residents of some towns in the Oromia Region including, those surrounding the capital Addis Ababa, embarked on a general strike on Monday.

Businesses and transportation services were for the second on Tuesday disrupted , according to sources from the Oromia towns including Welete, Sebeta and Burayu.

Information on social media indicated that the strike would last for three days.

US-based Oromio activist Jawar Mohammed, believed to be the leader of the protests on social media, had advised parliament to reject the state of emergency.

He warned that its endorsement would not stop the struggle of the Oromo youth known as, Qeerroo (unmarried Oromo youth).

RELATED CONTENT: Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM resigns

In one of his Facebook posts on Tuesday, Mr Jawar who has some 1.3 million followers, 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…”

The Oromia Region command post, which is in charge of implementing the state of emergency, had on Monday warned the people against participating in actions that could disrupt businesses and service provision.

The Voice of America (VOA) Amharic language service, in the wake of the state of emergency, reported one death and injuries to people in the Oromia Region including, Ambo, Ginchi, Horogudru, Nekemte, Gimbi towns in West and East Welega.

One 65-year-old father of 10 was reportedly shot dead by security forces while one of his two sons was injured and taken to a hospital, according to the VOA report.

Another VOA report quoted a doctor at the Gimbi Adventist Hospital saying eight people were shot, one of who died. Four other people were severely beaten by the security agents, the report added.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose government opposed the state of emergency, is expected to arrive in Addis Ababa Wednesday.

SEE: US opposes Ethiopia’s state of emergency

Mr Tillerson is expected to discuss the Oromia issues and the power transfer, with Ethiopian officials, according to his spokesman Donald Yamamoto.

The US State Secretary will also visit, Kenya, Djibouti, Chad and Nigeria.

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