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Konso protests draw military rule Ethiomedia March 8, 2016

KONSO, Southern Ethiopia – A clash between residents of the southern Konso people and members of the federal army erupted last week when the army arrested a leader of an elders group that was championing the people’s demand for self-rule, territorial demarcation, basic facilities as well as the respect of human and political rights, sources have informed Ethiomedia.

In an ensuing violence, an elder man, Saitua Gara, died from gunshot wounds and a young man, Tesfaye Mamush, was left with broken legs. Many youths were reportedly beaten, and their whereabouts remained unknown.

A different group of 21 men and one woman also suffered injuries from beatings while being held at a Technical School in Karat, where the army has turned the school into a detention center. All schools in the town are closed while the locals have barricaded the roads to deter federal police reinforcements.

Machinegun-mounted trucks have added to the tense situation among the Konso, who have vowed that their peaceful protest will continue until their demands are met. The Konso protests surfaced on top of the 5-month-old Oromo protests that have been rocking the foundations of the ruling TPLF/EPRDF party.

posted by Geremew Aragaw

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