Ethiopia: Oromia Reeling From State Violence After Security Forces Kill, Injure a Staggering Number of Protesters

Doctors and nurses in two hospital in east Hararghe were scrambling to save the live of gunshot victims as the number of causalities overwhelmed their hospitals

A staggering number of civilian protesters were killed and injured by security forces in several cities and towns across the Oromia regional state in the last two days alone.

Based on several eye witnesses who spoke to Addis Standard over the last two days, we were able to confirm that some of the most affected areas where security forces have either violently dispersed protestors, or used excessive forces, including killings of protestors, include areas in west Arsi: the city of Shashemene and Gedeb Asasa; in Bale Robe and the city of Ginir in Bale zone; in west Hararghe in the towns of Asebot, Galamso, Ciro (formerly Asebe Teferi), and Hirna; as well as towns in East Hararge particularly Haramaya and Aweday cities and in Kombolcha town.

Security forces have also violently dispersed protesters in Fadis, Dhangago, Midhega and Irressa towns and local districts in Harari regional state, as well as Dire Dawa city.

In West Oromia in the city of Ambo, security forces have detained several protestors on Monday August 17 late afternoon. Many of them were released on Tuesday morning, some of them were beaten.

Protests were ignited for two reasons: On Monday August 17 late in the afternoon instant protesters erupted in Shashemene, Ambo, Aweday and Haramaya, among other cities, after news broke that Jawar Mohammed was critically ill and was unable to stay through his court appearance.

These instant protests took place one day before a mass protest in Oromia called by activities to protest against mass arrests of opposition politicians and killings of protesters in Oromia by security forces in the last eleven weeks following the assassination of prominent Oromo artist Haaccaaluu Hundessa. (This is the third such round activities have called for protests in Oromia to protest against the government).

The following are some of the eye witness accounts Addis Standard gathered on the phone over the last two days:

Haramaya, east Hararghe

According to a medical doctor working at Hiwot Fana Specialized University Hospital in Haramaya on Monday August 17, 12 people with gunshot wounds were admitted to the hospital late in the afternoon two of them have since died. And on Tuesday August 18, as widespread protests took place nine more people with gunshots were admitted to the hospital; one of them died soon after. Quoting his colleagues at Jegol Hospital in the city of Harar, the medical doctor, who wants to remain anonymous, also said that at least half a dozen people with gunshot wounds were admitted there both on Monday and Tuesday. “Those who died have sustained severe injury and it is difficult to know the number of death at this moment,” he told Addis Standard this morning. Among the victims is a young boy aged between 11 and 12.

Dr. Ibssa Musa, a medical Doctor at the hospital told Addis Standard as of this afternoon, 26 people who sustained injuries as a result of gunshot and beatings were admitted to the hospital. Two of, both men, have since died of their wounds; both died of gunshots.

Currently, there are 12 patients admitted to the surgical ward of the hospital. One patient with severe head injury is admitted to the intensive care unit and is placed on mechanical ventilation. The others are receiving treatments for light injuries.

In Qobo, a small village on the way to the city of Harar two people were shot and killed by members of the Oromia Special Forces, Lega Chercher, a local resident told Addi Standard. One of the two were killed yesterday, and the second was killed today.

Aweday, east Hararghe

Adem Dhalate, a resident of Aweday told Addis Standard that he person

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