(OPride) ― ON Thursday, Oct. 26, Ethiopian security forces shot and killed at least 11 protesters and wounded 23 others in Ambo town, 120 kilometers west of the capital, Addis Ababa.
Ambo is no stranger to violence or expressions of dissent. The popular Oromo protests, by Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, which culminated in the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency last October, started in this town in May 2014. Security forces killed dozens of protesters on its streets in 2014 and 2016 as the federal army took over the restive town to stamp out the protests.
Since the state of emergency was lifted in August, an eerie calm had prevailed in Ambo ― and in much of the restive Oromia region, the largest of Ethiopia’s nine-linguistic based federal states. But that semblance of calm ended abruptly on Thursday when the federal army returned.
Ambo is currently under siege. The U.S. embassy has expressed concerns and called on security forces to exercise restraint. However, outside of Ethiopia, the unfolding crisis has received scant media coverage.
On Oct. 27, BBC Afaan Oromo released a 30-second video from Thursday’s massacre in Ambo. The chilling video, which appears to be a collage of short clips from around Ambo, offers a raw evidence of the federal army’s indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of civilians.