By Staff Reporter
August 19, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Multiple Oromia towns of Ethiopia saw disturbances on Tuesday as police clashed with protesters who were demanding for the release of an activist turned politician Jawar Mohammed.
Dozens of people were killed and several others wounded amid the clashes as a number of shootings took place in a still deeply divided Oromia region.
Getachew Balcha in a briefing said the region’s security forces managed to foil the planned violence on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, in Oromia’s Arsi and Harargae zones which are believed to be Jawar’s stronghold.
The protests came after Jawar Mohammed who is a prime suspect of July’s violence announced his illness during a court hearing and demanded a personal doctor treat him. The Federal First Instance Court rejected the request.
Getachew blamed anti-peace forces that are based abroad for organizing the violence via social media and disseminating fake news that Jawar had contracted coronavirus in a prison cell.
The federal police and attorney general in a statement said Jawar is “safe and healthy” even though he interrupted Monday’s court proceeding, claiming he was sick.
Residents in Aweday town told Ezega.com that thousands of protesters took to the streets of the town shortly after they heard Jawar’s illness. They called for his release and immediate treatment.
“At least three of people were shot wounded by security forces which consisted of members of the Oromia police and national defense force,” he said
Acting director of the Chiro Hospital Dr. Sadam Aluwan told the BBC Amharic news that out of 24 victims who were admitted in the hospital, two of whom aged 40 and 20 died by gun bullets on their backs.
In a statement, the Dire Dawa City Police announced the death of two people and injuries of four others amid clashes between pro-Jawar protesters and security forces.
The city police said they foiled the planned protest named as 12 12 12 in a joint effort of security forces and residents.
Similar protests were held in Harar but security forces dispersed the protesters as they began to gather and hold a business strike.
The security forces in Shashemene, one the worst-hit cities by July’s protest; put the planned protest under control after one of the protesters was shot dead.
Getachew said no one is above the law and the regional government will not tolerate anti-peace forces in the region. “No road is blocked in any directions of the Oromia region,” he claimed.
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