A planned protest in Ethiopia’s Oromia state has turned deadly. Scores have been killed after federal police and security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters, according to eyewitnesses and reports on social media. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in more than 50 towns across Oromia early Saturday morning in what has been billed as a ‘national day of rage’ to protest the Oromo people’s continued marginalization and human rights abuses in Ethiopia. The situation in the populous state, home to the Oromo people, remains tense and volatile. In the last two days, embassies of the United States, Norway and the United Nations office in Ethiopia have all issued travel warnings for the weekend.
Activists say more than 50 people have been killed and protests took place in some 200 towns across Oromia. OPride is only able to confirm protests in about 51 towns so far.
Shashamane is located 150 miles from Addis Ababa in the West Arsi zone of Oromia. The town and the region has seen some of the fiercest confrontations between security forces and protesters. Over the past two months, at least half a dozen Oromo activists were mysteriously stabbed at night.
So far, protests have been reported in several towns of West Arsi – Shashamane, Asasa, Dodola and Adaba – as well as in Awaday, Haromaya, Dambi Dolo and Ambo.
How ever, the Security of Shashamane are hunting a suspected leader of the `protesters Mr Yeneakal Kassahun and his friends.