The most from the coast

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) —
Renewed unrest in Ethiopia’s
central Oromia regional state left one person dead and four
others injured, a regional official said on Saturday.

Speaking to journalists, Ketema Bekelcha, Head of security
department at Huro Guduru Wollega zone of Oromia regional state,
said the unrest occurred on Friday when youths in Shambu city,
303 km northwest of Addis Ababa, tried to rob passing trucks
carrying sugar.

The incident is the second time in two months that unrest
over sugar being transported in Oromia caused deaths.

In October, at least eight people died in Ambo city, 130 km
north of Addis Ababa, when police and soldiers used live rounds
against angry demonstrators who blocked roads to prevent
transportation of sugar.

The demonstrators believed erroneously sugar from nearby
Fincha sugar factory was being transported illegally to other
places.

Ethiopia is in the midst of a severe sugar shortage which the
Ethiopian government blames on bad weather condition that halved
the country’s sugar production last year.

Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest regional state, has seen large
anti-government protests by ethnic Oromos since the end of 2015,
leaving hundreds of people dead.

Oromos, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group making up a third of
the country’s 100 million population, complain of decades of
economic, political and social marginalization by successive
governments.

Martial law declared in October 2016 and later lifted in
August 2017 had calmed Oromia regional state, but renewed
anti-government protests starting October left several people
dead and property damages.
.

Classes resume in unrest-hit Ethiopian universities

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) —
Classes have resumed in all
universities that were hit by deadly unrest earlier this month,
an Ethiopian official said on Sunday.

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Speaking to Xinhua, Negeri Lencho, Minister of Ethiopia
Government Communications Affairs Office (GCAO), said the
government is providing free transportation to students who fled
the unrest but want to return.

He also said an Ethiopian Parliament committee has visited
unrest-hit universities and understood students have both
academic and non-academic questions.

“Agreement has been reached for university officials to
promptly respond to students’ academic demands while political
demands will be given reply by local and federal government
officials,” said Lencho.

Clashes between university students on Dec. 10-11 at several
universities left at least four students dead and several other
students injured.

The unrest seems to have significantly eased in recent days
but scores of students in various universities have reportedly
left their campuses for fear of violence.

In recent years, Ethiopia’s higher education institutions
have become scenes of violence between students over ethnic and
religious differences.
.

Ethiopian court jails two members of outlawed rebel group

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) —
The Ethiopian Federal High
Court in Addis Ababa on Saturday gave prison sentences to two
members of Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), an outlawed
rebel group.

The first defendant Ahmed Abdi was sentenced to 13 years in
prison while second defendant Ahmed Mohammed was sentenced to 15
years in prison.

The two, residents of Mogadishu in neighboring Somalia, were
caught in July 15, 2016 as they were trying to infiltrate
Ethiopia from Somalia.

ONLF is an ethnic rebel group which has been operating in
Ethiopia’s Somali regional state for the last two decades.

The rebel group made international headlines in April 24,
2007 when it launched a deadly raid on an oil field in Ethiopia
Somali regional state. The attack left 65 Ethiopians and nine
Chinese dead.

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The oil facility was run by China Petroleum and Chemical
Corporation (Sinopec).

After the attack the Ethiopian government undertook a
vigorous counterinsurgency campaign and indigenization of the
security forces in Somali regional state succeeding in taking
the sting out of the insurgency.

It also undertook large scale infrastructure projects to win
the hearts of local population who were thought to be
sympathetic to ONLF.
.

Five Ethiopians arrested over communal clash

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) —
Police in Ethiopia’s central Oromia regional state announced on Saturday it has arrested five
individuals over communal clash.

Yishak Ayana, administrator of Yayu district of Oromia
regional state, said the clash left six people injured and yet
unspecified material damage, reported state owned Ethiopia News
Agency.

He further said police has been able to prevent the clash
from escalating with the help of local community.

Yayu and neighboring districts were scenes of communal
violence in October 2017 which left more than a dozen dead.

The violence involving members of the Oromo ethnic group,
longtime residents of the area, and ethnic Amharas and Tigrayans,
who settled in the area in recent decades, raised concerns about
the specter of wider civil strife in Ethiopia.

Disputes over resource exploitation and land ownership in
Oromia regional states led to unrest in 2016 that left hundreds
of dead.

Oromos, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group making up a third of
the country’s 100 million population, have complained of decades
of economic, political and social marginalization by successive
governments.
.

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