Please Pray For My Old Friend Dr Z, Her Board Member. He is In The Capital, uprisings everywhere, triple chaos.We will now start to see a rapid escalation, War-Economy, WW 3 starts 2016 to stop elections and institute Martial law. -2016-we will see. Not far away now. Hard to believe events .
Hold on, the water gets rough starting this month, stand on Jesus the solid rock and your house will not go down.
Tens of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Gonder in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia on Sunday demanding a change of government due to the unfair distribution of wealth in the country.
The protest, reported to have been staged in defiance of a government order, is also in solidarity with the Oromia protests held between November last year to March 2016 in opposition to a government development plan in the region which could affect poor farmers.
Images posted by protesters and other eye witnesses on social media show hundreds of thousands of people carrying Ethiopian flags and placards singing and chanting against the government’s regime.
Another view of huge #AmharaProtests demonstrations in #Gondar pic.twitter.com/DbJs7GCGa7
— Mpengwe P. (@Mpengwe) July 31, 2016
Some placards demanded the release of arrested activists during the Oromia protests while other protesters made the Crossed Arms Resistance gesture which was common during the Oromia protests.
Salute of solidarity from the #AmharaProtests to the #OromoProtests
Truly unsarcastic use of #EthiopiaRising here. pic.twitter.com/4uEWY4QdZR
— Zecharias Zelalem (@ZekuZelalem) July 31, 2016
Some videos show the protest to be peaceful and so far no violence has been reported.
The regime in #Ethiopia has pressure in the north of the region#AmharaProtests #GonderProtests has struck a nerve pic.twitter.com/x7sIkwIdPK
— Filmon Zerai (@EritreaStruggle) July 31, 2016
Steered by the hashtags #AmharaProtests and #GonderProtests, the protesters bemoan the unfair distribution of wealth in the country and denounced the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) led government affiliated to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) militant party.
#AmharaProtests #GonderProtests Huge protest against regime in #Ethiopia in Gonder
TPLF circle is a paranoid state pic.twitter.com/lU7384i1jx
— Filmon Zerai (@EritreaStruggle) July 31, 2016
The EPRDF has come under heavy criticism for its handling of the Oromia protests and also its intolerance towards the media and civil society.
Thousands of students, social media activists, and opposition party leaders and supporters were arrested and dozens were charged under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) while hundreds remained in custody without charges.
Human Rights Watch released a report in June estimating that over 400 Oromo protesters were killed in November 2015, and thousands others arrested by Ethiopian security forces during the protests.
The government however disputed the figures and earlier in March, the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn blamed the death and destruction on “violent” protesters. He however apologized before parliament for “not listening to the concerns of the people”.
The Oromia and Amhara are two of the nine ethnically based regional states of Ethiopia which are considered the poorest compared to the others.
The protest is expected to build up in the coming days.
To Ethiopia: We diasporas may not be w/U in flesh. But we R w/U in spirit, in congruence & support 2 constitute UR freedoms #AmharaProtests
— Liya H. (@Liya_Bia) July 31, 2016
#Amharaprotests asking for fair wealth distribution.TPLF controlled economy must end! Ethiopia is not TPLF's store! pic.twitter.com/fBRnYldKG6
— kassa hun Yilma (@EthiopiK) July 31, 2016
#Ethiopia: pics of Gonder today, streets are packed with people demanding the downfall of the regime #AmharaProtests pic.twitter.com/TpQFzqs6KJ
— Thomas van Linge (@arabthomness) July 31, 2016
#AmharaProtests: Slogans respectively read respect Amharaness and TPlF hegemony must stop. #Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/gC8IsYJl4P
— Ethiopian Press (@abenezer_a) July 31, 2016
#OromoProtests #AmharaProtests is SHAKING the ground in Ethiopia! Protesters want REGIME CHANGE! DEATH TO TPLF! pic.twitter.com/7FlL3vqhFu
— Greater Somalia (@OgadenWar) July 31, 2016
World silent over z current massive civil unrest in Ethiopia which now seems 2 b completely out of control #AmharaProtests OromoProtests
— D (menkemD) July 31, 2016
Ethiopia emerges from national mourning with more protests and internet shutdown
Following the death of at least 55 people in the weekend, Ethiopia is coming out of a three-day national mourning with a complete internet shutdown and more protests engulfing the country.
Anti-government protests have broken both in the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa, with reports of closed roads, a heavy presence of riot police and arrests of anti-government protestors. The internet was also shut down in the country this morning (Oct. 5), with both people in and out of the country confirming that the connection was down.
#OromoProtests Mobile internet service is completely shut off in Ethiopia
— Jawar Mohammed (@Jawar_Mohammed) October 5, 2016
Tensions and political protests have gripped Ethiopia since Nov. 2015 when members of the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group, rejected plans to expand the capital into their region. Since then, anti-government protests have escalated, affecting businesses and foreign commercial properties in the country. Human rights organizations say at least 500 people have been killed during the largely peaceful protests.
Ethiopia’s government now says that 55 people died from the stampede in Bishoftu on Sunday (Oct. 2) during the annual Irreecha thanksgiving celebration held by the Oromo. Opposition groups and activists have however disputed those accounts, saying more people died after government forces opened fire. An American citizen was also reportedly killed on the outskirts of the capital after she was struck by a rock thrown by unknown individuals at a passenger vehicle she was in.
The Ethiopian government was also criticized for arresting Seyoum Teshome, an outspoken university professor, and prominent blogger. Teshome was arrested at his home in Oromia region the day before the stampede. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Ethiopian authorities for arresting Teshome, calling it “deeply disturbing.”
#Ethiopia should release Seyoum Teshome, blogger & academic critical of govt's crackdown on protesters: https://t.co/KYDkhIxirR
— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) October 4, 2016
The advocacy group Human Rights Watch has called for an “independent investigation” to determine what exactly happened during the cultural event.
Emma Gordon, a senior Africa analyst with the risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft, says the continuing protests and the government’s response reveal the government’s failure to address the protest movement. This, she said, will further mobilize the Oromos to join the demonstrations, and might nudge foreign investors to divest from the country.
“Investment does not appear to have slowed due to the protests,” Gordon said, “but investors will now be hesitant and watching closely for signs of the protests escalating and reaching the center.”