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The month of September is usually regarded as a festive month for Ethiopians as it is the first month of the upcoming year. However this year, it was marked as the deadliest month with a continued violence ripping through several parts of the country.
Just 20 days into the New Year, the nation has already endured the death of over 58 people in Oromia Special Zone and other parts of the country.
Over the past few days, the suburbs of Addis Ababa such as Ashewa Meda and Burayu were the scenes of a deadly violence which claimed lives of some 23 people, according to official sources. Two days later Oromia police announced that the figure rose by three more deaths.
On Monday, protesters angered by the killings blocked roads in Addis Ababa in a demonstration that left five more people dead. Later that day, mobile internet service was shut down for one day in bid to control the situation.
“This type of incident will not continue,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) said on Tuesday while visiting a school housing people displaced by the attacks.
Witnesses said that last week’s attacks began and continued through the weekend with the group of youth targeting specific ethnic minorities in the area.
Prior to that, clashes broke out in the capital between youth from the city and supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a once-banned political group that returned to Ethiopia on Saturday, September 15, 2018, after decades in exile.
The violence was not confined to Burayu, Ashewa Meda and other communities on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
The deadly violence has also left over ten thousand people internally displaced. The IDPs have been sheltered inside various schools, Churches and Mosques.
In related news, a series of violence was also reported this week in Guba area, Benishangul Gumuz Regional State, with at least 10 people killed and dozen others wounded.
According to the information provided by the regional authorities, the clash happened among citizens who are employed by an investment farms in the area.
The regional police said it has detained over 85 suspects accused of inciting the deadly violence. The Federal government has also dispatched a team to the area to assist the regional police in the investigation process.
Similarly, the deaths of some 10 people was also reported in Gurage Zone of the Sothern Regional State after a clash broke-out between residents of Mesqan and Mareko districts which share the same district. However, some commentators claim that the death toll could be as high as 31.
Last year, it is to be recalled that over 100 people died and close to one million people were displaced from Oromia and the Somali regional states following the long standing clashes along the borders of the two regions.
Similarly, the previous year (September 2016) also saw the tragic death of over 56 people who were killed during a stamped while celebrating the Irrecha festivity in Bishioftu town of the Oromia Regional State. It is to be remembered that the incident has angered millions of youths across the region and drew them to a deadly confrontation with security forces.