Addis Abeba, January 25/2019 – What started as a protest against a group of people who were said to have thrown stones at a religious congregation during Timket celebrations in Dire Dawa city, a chartered city in eastern Ethiopia, have morphed into protests covering various parts of the city, leaving one child dead, ten injured, according to Ibrahim Ousman, Myor of the city, who spoke to state affiliated FanaBC this morning. It is not clear if the victim was killed by security forces. Today also saw increasing confrontations between protesters and security forces.
The incident in which groups of people were accused of throwing stones at a congregation of Timket procession happened on Monday 21 January prompting interventions from security forces. However over the next days violent protests spread throughout the city with protesters calling for the Mayor of the city Ibrahim Ousman to resign.
According to a report published on DW Amharic on January 24, unknown numbers of people were injured, properties were vandalized, including that of the administrative office of Kebele o5; cars were also destroyed while protesters blocked road with burning tyres. An aye witness told the news portal that security forces have attempted to disperse the protesters using rubber bullets.
On Wednesday January 23, the city’s police said it has arrested 84 individuals that it said were suspected of participating on Monday’s and Tuesday’s incidents “that triggered the violence in the city.”
However, in addition to raising issues related to maladministration, dire shortage of water and other infrastructures, today’s protesters were also calling for the release of those arrested on Wednesday. AS