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Ethiopia: Military Deployed in Addis Ababa After More Than 80 Killed in Protests
By Staff, Agencies
The Ethiopian military was deployed in the capital Addis Ababa on Wednesday as armed gangs roamed neighborhoods in a second day of unrest that has claimed more than 80 lives and deepened political divisions in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s political heartland.
The protests were sparked by the assassination of popular activist and musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa on Monday night and spread from Addis Ababa to the surrounding Oromiya region.
The killing tapped into grievances fueled by decades of government repression and what the Oromo, Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, describe as their historic exclusion from political power.
Gunshots echoed through many neighborhoods and gangs armed with machetes and sticks roamed the streets. Six witnesses described a situation pitting youths of Oromo origin against some of the city’s other ethnic groups, and where both sides skirmished with police.
An Oromo family said an armed gang had tried to break into their compound. Police had responded, but said they couldn’t stay - they were getting too many other calls.
The military had been deployed in some areas, three witnesses said. One described a street littered with rocks that anti-Oromo protesters had thrown at police.
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