Ethiopian dictatorship violence against anti-ISIS demonstrators


This video from Ethiopia says about itself:

Demonstration in Addis Ababa, April 21, 2015

Amidst grief following extremely shocking killings of about 30 Ethiopians at the hands of ISIS, Ethiopians took to the street in Addis Ababa. From the video [it is clear that] protestors are also blaming the Ethiopian government for failing to protect the security of Ethiopians.

The British government is part of the coalition, fighting, officially, against ISIS terrorism. However, they arrest a British anti-ISIS girl as a ‘terrorist’.

The Australian government is part of the coalition, fighting ISIS. However, they arrest an Australian ISIS opponent.

The Turkish government is part of the coalition, fighting ISIS. However

The Qatari government is part of the coalition, fighting ISIS. However

The Bahraini government is part of the coalition, fighting ISIS. However

The Saudi Arabian government is part of the coalition, fighting ISIS. However

The Ethiopian government is officially anti-ISIS. However, how do they treat anti-ISIS demonstrators?

In this blog post, some quotes from a paper in Ethiopia. We have to read them, knowing there is much censorship and little press freedom in dictatorial Ethiopia; which may possibly result in omitting some facts from reports, and in inserting untrue, but pro-regime sentences.

From the Addis Standard (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia):

21 April 2015

Ethiopia: Police Forcefully Disperse Protests Held By Ethiopians Against Isis Killings

The police have today forcibly dispersed thousands of protestors who came out to the streets to protest the killings by ISIS militants of 28 Christian Ethiopians in Libya. A video released by the Islamic State group on Sunday April 19th appears to show the killing of two different groups of captured Ethiopian Christians by the extremist group’s Libyan affiliates. …

Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBD) reported that the government was organizing demonstrations for tomorrow. However thousands of unorganized voluntary demonstrators have packed the Ckerkos neighborhood, home to two of the 28 victims identified so far, as of this morning. The city administration has quickly deployed both city police and federal forces in and around the area preventing demonstrators from marching towards the headquarters of the African Union and the national palace, located on opposite directions. The demonstration lasted for nearly four hours.

According [to] Addis Standard‘s reporters and informants on the scene, demonstrators were chanting emotional slogans, among others: “where is our government,” “justice for the dead,” “sovereignty is the safety of citizens everywhere in the world,” and “don’t tell us they are not ours,” the later in response to an earlier statement given by government spokesperson Redwan Hussien saying it was not clear if the victims were Ethiopians and that the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo was investigating the matter.

The 29-minute online video purports to show militants holding two groups of captives. It says one group is held by an IS affiliate in eastern Libya known as Barka Province and the other by an affiliate in the south calling itself the Fazzan Province, AP reported yesterday.

Then, also from the Addis Standard, the next day, 22 April 2015, today:

Ethiopia: A State Organized Rally Against IS Killing Ended in Chaos, Many Injured

Thousands of city dwellers descended on the streets of Addis Abeba this morning to participate in a government organized rally against the killings by militants of the Islamic State (IS) of Ethiopians and possibly Eritreans and the killings of three Ethiopians by xenophobic attacks in South Africa. But the rally was marred by chaos following chants by protestors that led to a police crackdown.

The rally was called by the government following a parliament’s decision yesterday to declare three days of national mourning that began as of today. Yesterday a voluntary rally by thousands of people that started in Cherkos neighborhood, home to two of the identified victims, was forcibly dispersed by the city and federal police forces.

At one point in today’s rally the police have started firing teargas against a group of youth who used the chance to protest against the government chanting “your time is over,” and “where is the government?”. A number of people were injured following police’s crackdown against different groups inside the demonstrators; plain-clothed security agents have also detained many at the scene. Shortly after disturbances began the Agazi special force have also come to occupy large swaths of the Meskel Square.

Addis Standard cannot verify if all the injured have sustained beatings from the police or were victims of minor stampede amidst the chaos. Hundreds of people were seen running to take shelters inside St. Estifanos Church, adjacent the Meskel Square.

The entire program of the rally was not clear, but police started dispersing it shortly after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s speech was over. Other speeches by religious leaders and Diriba Kuma, Mayor of the city, were booed by groups of demonstrators.

Meskel Square is now calm but other reports say riot police have surrounded the Addis Abeba University campus, a flash point for many demonstrations in the country that often ended up with police crackdown including killings. The police have also continued dispersing crowds from tents in Cherkos neighborhood where three more victims have been identified. …

A video showing the beheading and execution to death of more than two dozen Christian Ethiopians surfaced over the weekend on the official site of IS militants. The number of those brutally murdered was originally reported to be 28, but some latest information say it is 30 and also possibly includes Eritreans. It is also not clear when the killings happen.

From Bloomberg today:

Attendees became angry after hearing the “usual politics” from their leaders, said Merkeb Yifru, a 22-year-old protester, whose friend had a video deleted and was punched in the face by federal police.

“People were marching and saying the government has sold us out and is not there for us,” he said in an interview. “It’s poverty making people seek work elsewhere.”

[Addis Ababa mayor] Diriba accused the opposition Blue Party of orchestrating the violence. Members of the group were detained prior to the demonstration and beaten during it, said Yonatan Tesfaye, a Blue Party spokesman.

From the Daily Mail in Britain today:

But despite a heavy police presence, several anti-government slogans were heard.

“We are tired of speeches and propaganda! We want action! …” shouted a group of youths, who were quickly surrounded by a police cordon.

“Ethiopia sent troops to Somalia, Liberia, Burundi, but the government is not capable of protecting its own citizens!” shouted one protestor, referring to its peacekeeping roles in the African Union or United Nations.

“Where is the African Union? Where are the Ethiopian defence forces?” a placard carried by a protester read, written in English.

Police fired a few rounds of tear gas at some rowdy groups with the demonstration ending before midday.

At the home of two of the victims in capital’s Cherkos district, a banner was displayed showing them kneeling just before their deaths.

“A government that does not protect its citizens does not deserve to be in power,” the banner read.

On the second leg of his trip to Africa, President Barack Obama appeared on a joint platform with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, paying tribute to his repressive regime as a principal US proxy in Washington’s “war on terror”: here.

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