Five killed in Ethiopia during Epiphany festival

January 24, 2018 by  
Filed under newsletter-world, World

Ethiopia, January 23, 2018: Ethiopian police have killed at least five people, at the annual Timket Festival, Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of Epiphany, in Weldiya in the Amhara region on Saturday, January 20.

Reports say 18 other people were injured. Witness accounts say during the festival, the crowd started singing anti-government songs and police officers used live ammunition to disperse the crowd. The next day, January 21, hundreds of people still took to the streets blocking roads and forcing businesses to close, to denounce the killings.

Anti-government protesters demanded political and economic reforms and called for an end to state corruption and human rights abuses.

The protest in Waldiya comes after the Ethiopian government released hundreds of political prisoners from jail on Wednesday 17 January. Observers hoped the release of activists, including a prominent opposition leader Merera Gudina, was an indication of the government’s change in response to human rights abuses. The killings at the Waldiya festival seems to indicate the opposite.

In an incident in 2016, dozens of people were killed in a stampede after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a crowd when a similar anti-government chant and protest.

Activists in Ethiopia are demanding respect for human rights and equal distribution of wealth in order to improve the country’s poorest regions.

– global christian news

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