Ethiopia government: Oromo protests hijacked by violent elements.

Ethiopia’s government has rejected accusations of a brutal crackdown of Oromo protesters.

Ethiopian English-language magazine the Addis Standard today carries a stark cover, posing the question: “Why is Ethiopia killing its people again?” (see 09:43 entry).

Last week, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that at least 140 people had died during the recent wave of protests.

But Abiy Berhane from Ethiopia’s London embassy has told the BBC that those numbers are not correct.

He told Focus on Africa radio that there had been arrests in some parts of Oromia region, but that given the HRW figures come from opposition supporters, people should wait for an official government report.

He says the government “has been trying to avoid confrontation with the people”, but the protests were hijacked “by people whose intention it was to induce violent confrontation”.

AFP

Funerals have been held for people killed during the protests, but the government rejects the figure of 140 dead
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