Government Report: Only 669 Killed in Ethiopia Protests Since August

A report from government’s human rights body state measures to deal with demonstrators “proportionate”, blames a lot of the violence on opposition groups.

The state-affiliated Ethiopia Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has told parliament that a total of 669 people died in the latest wave of anti-government protests since August. Opposition and human rights groups say the number of dead is much higher and have called for independent investigations. Regime rejects any independent probe.

BY AL JAZEERA

Almost 700 people have been killed during violence in Ethiopia since August 2016, a government-sponsored commission has said, bringing the total death toll since the unrest began in late 2015 to more than 900.

Ethiopia declared six months of emergency rule in October after almost  a year of anti-government violent protests in its Oromia, Amhara and SNNP regions. In March, the measure was extended by four months amid reports of continuing violence in some remote areas.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission – mandated by parliament to investigate the violence – presented its long-awaited findings on Tuesday.



The commission blamed a lot of the violence on opposition groups, saying that security forces in some places had no choice but to respond with lethal force.

“The violence happened because the protesters were using guns and so security forces had no other option,” Addisu Gebregziabher, the commission’s head, told members of parliament.

The report, the second by the commission, said police used “proportionate force” in most areas during the unrest, but could have provided better security during the rallies.

It said that since August the unrest claimed 495 lives – 462 civilians, 33 security personnel – in Oromia; 140 – 110 civilians and 30 security personnel – in Amhara; and 34 in the SSNP regional states.

Last year, the commission’s first investigation said that 173 people in Oromia and 95 people in Amhara had been killed between November 2015 and August 2016.

“The commission here is blaming a lot of the violence on what it describes as the opposition both in Ethiopia and abroad using social media to stoke the unrest,” Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from inside Ethiopia’s parliament in the capital, Addis Ababa, said.

“The government has denied access to any independent international rights organisation to come to Ethiopia and conduct its own investigation into the violence,” he added.

“It has also made it increasingly difficult for journalists to speak to witnesses or travel to the most badly-affected areas since the emergency law was passed in October.”

Violent Protests

The state of emergency, declared on October 9, was a reaction to protests that were especially persistent in the

Oromia region. Many members of the Oromo ethnic group say they are marginalised and that they do not have access to political power, something the government denies.

A wave of anger was triggered by a development scheme for Addis Ababa, which would have seen its boundaries extended into Oromia. Demonstrators saw it as a land grab that would force farmers off their land. The protests soon spread to the Amhara region in the north, where locals argued that decades-old federal boundaries had cut off many ethnic Amharas from the region.



The Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups together make up about 60 percent of Ethiopia’s population.

The country’s ruling coalition, which has been in power for a quarter of a century, is controlled primarily by the Tigray ethnic group, who make up six percent of the population.

Tensions reached an all-time high after a stampede in early October in which at least 52 people were crushed to death fleeing security forces at a protest that grew out of a religious festival in the town of Bishoftu.

In the following days, rioters torched several mostly foreign-owned factories and other buildings that they claimed were built on seized land.

The government, though, blamed rebel groups and foreign-based dissidents for stoking the violence.

The state of emergency initially included curfews, social media blocks, restrictions on opposition party activity and a ban on diplomats traveling more than 40 kilometres outside the capital without approval.

Authorities arrested more than 11,000 people during its first month.

Some provisions of the state of emergency were relaxed on March 15th, two weeks prior to Thursday’s announced extension. Arrests and searches without court orders were stopped, and restrictions on radio, television and theatre were dropped.

The government has repeatedly said that those responsible, including security forces, for the violence must be held accountable.

No members of the security services have faced any charges for the killing of the protesters.

  • B.Adal

    They managed to stop the slaughtering of Ethiopian Donkeys after the death of 300 Donkeys, but unable to stop the slaughtering of Oromo and Amhara Ethiopians. — Woyane’s IQ is bottomless.

    • guest-2

      Few months ago didn’t you comment that the Amharas and Oromos on little eritrea are going to AA palace? now after 5/6 months what can you say abt that? What happened to your high IQ expectation…?

      • Halhal

        Your tribal Woyane regime defrauded, looted, and murdered Ethiopians for 25 years. Today Ethiopians, with absolute certainty, known that their #1 and only enemy, is the self-loathing ethnocentric Woyane tribal regime. Hence, there is one thing absolutely for sure and that is your Woyane regime is as good as dead. For your ethnocentric Woyane regime, everyday is a borrowed day. You can gloat about lasting another 5/6 months. Enjoy it while it lasts because it is not going to last for very long.

        • Ras Alula

          keep dreaming defeated shabo. Woyane/Tigrai is going to be around to dictate and influence entire Horn of Africa for coming decades. Indeed, you better worry about your vegetating old tyrant Tigrain Abuser in Asmara. God know what happens to your tiny state midget-eritrea when he is finally laid to rest , either murdered or from old age complications.

          • Ebay-Asmara

            HEY! WAKE-UP!

            You’re having a fake dream, soon to turn to a Nightmare. ????

          • Mengis

            On one hand you claim to dictate the people of the horn, on the other you claim that you are abused, regardless the damage is done and you would be gone soon.
            Tegaru not only hated by amhara and oromo, but by the whole people in the region

          • Ras Alula

            where did I say we are abused Mr Meningitis ? you are reading what is not written defeated loser shabo. And when you say “whole region” does it also include Masai , Kikuyu and Nubian people or is it just the villagers of Hamasein from Arba’ete Asmera you are referring as “whole region” ?

          • Alem Mehari

            Brother Mengis
            This scumbag is certainly a hired agent of the hate mongering MLLT mouthpieces TOL Walta Aiga and the likes. He must have some close contacts with those criminal gangs in Addis follow him you will discover his traits filled with rage and entrenched mentality surely derived from the characteristic to the MLLT diehards guess what ” the complex” in addition he some times spits out some interesting details of some issues when he gets screwed.

          • Mengis

            Oops I forgot that you are IQ63.
            All the people you mentioned that they are more closer to the oromo than tegaru, filthy

          • Alem Mehari

            Yeah Mengis you just nailed this sold soul in his brainless head. The IQ stuff id very crucial among the MLLties

          • Ras Alula

            Also “soon” is too vague and not precise defeated loser Shabo so could you please take your time to express your soon in the form of Months/Years so we can evacuate our people from Badme in time and leave all our wealth in Addis and else where in Ethiopia to migrate and take shelter in your prosperous Asm-ara ?

          • Mengis

            You got no wealth and if you are talking about the one you looted that ones is going to be back to the owners with time. Begger is always a begger and you are born with it.
            I can not stand your filthyness in cyber, you think I would tolerate you in beautiful city asmara? Why don’t you take your stinky a** where it belongs that’s what the amhara and oromo asking for

          • Ras Alula

            you mean the “real” Ethiopians wedi halal Meriet ? And indeed beggar is always beggar – that is why we are sheltering and feeding 100’s of thousands of your close family members in 5 Refugee camps in Tigrai and else where in my Ethiopia. You have long ago achieved the status of “International beggars” and I myself get very ashamed and upset when local people here confuse or ask me whether I am Eritrean=Beggar Refugee , that day I would really have a bad day and try hard disassociate myself from your likes and your banda people

          • Mengis

            Those are not Eritreans, but filthy agames. You can not feed yourself, let alone Eritreans. I believe Ethiopia belongs more to amhara and oromo, but not tegaru so stop your b.s. saying my Ethiopia

          • Ras Alula

            Your belief or opinion on who is Ethiopian or not is irrelevant and out of place defeated loser Homosenai . It is up to the nations and nationalities of our country to define them selves and assume any nationality, Ethiopian or Burundian . You are an outsider and it is non of your business. You people are funny. You are independent but not independent , lo 24/7 you dream, breath , eat and drink Ethiopia/Tigrai/ Woynae..
            But we know the real reason behind your fake “alliance” or “affection” towards Amharas and Oromos. We, even Amharas and Oromos themselves, all know what you think and say of them and it is just you think they are fool and naive so “one day ” they will let you come back to Ethiopia and migrate to loot and steal to realise your Singapore pipe dream .. which will NEVER happen .. You must realise even in 1000 years, your only access to giant Ethiopia is only through Tigrai .. your fate and destiny will always be at our hands .. ስለዚህ ሞኝህን ፈልግ ደደብ ፋራ ሐማሴን

          • Mengis

            Well, the oromo and the amhara are the one define you that who and what kind of people tegaru are
            Btw do you speak your own tegaru language, amhara don’t like it

          • Ras Alula

            kkk did you say beautiful ? or ebet-ful Asmara ? you must be funny and idiot calling this rotting and falling apart Italian derelict town beautiful in the 21st century.

          • Mengis

            Asmara is still cleaner than stinky tegaru’s a**

          • Ras Alula

            Your Ass-maarra might indeed be “clean” because you have nothing to throw away. You are well known to recycle everything and anything until it disappears from the face of the earth- I cant imagine you people having something like food-waste , such thing is never heard in your tiny and poverty stricken midget country called Ar-tera , chigaram people.

          • tbelew

            Ask any Tigrain where to choose to work from Addis OR Asmara Theda (white Asmara ) shake hands Job? any one can tell you then keep intach.
            When the Tigran people back, they will just tell them in advance No more shaking hand in Eritrea but we can offer them city clening, house keeping, (teskem derbi) so on. For your family No more Eritrean!!!
            Dame Ras

          • Ras Alula

            ጽው ጽዋይ — ተረት ተረት — የላም በረት በድሮ ግዜ ድንጋይ ዳቦ ነበረ ! አስመራም አንደ ወተት የነጻች በሀብት የበለጸገች ከ ዓለም አንደኛ ከአፍሪካ ደግሞ ሁለተኛ ባለ ጸጋ ሀገር ነበረች ! ነጻ ከወጣች በኅዋላ ግን ከሶማሊያ እና ኒጀር የባሰች ደሃ የስደተኞች መፈልፈያ ሀገር ሆነች !

          • Mengis

            I don’t think amhara would appreciate that you(tegaru) are using their language

          • Ras Alula

            so do the English people but I still refuse to stop using their language as I see it merely as an instrument to advance and communicate my ideas to any one. But were the Italians appreciative when your desperate servant father tried saying some Italian words to please his masters during those good old days ?

          • Mengis

            Amhara proud to speak amharic, oromo proud to speak oromo’s language, worage the same thing, and with all the other tribes, but not the tegaru with inferiority complex and they’re always trying to steal some one else identity

          • Ras Alula

            kkkk we are the masters of all East Africa with a well established history , culture and identity dating back 3000 years old Mr Buda hamasiien. You people are conically envious and jealous of the people of Tigrai in particular and Ethiopia in general. You are frustrated , angry and lost all your hope of going back to the good old pre 1991 days .. we turned your day-days into nightmares .. RIP Singapore Eritrea !

          • Alem Mehari

            Ras Famine
            We begin to miss you we heard you were at Koshe to collect the last wreckage, can you update us about the latest MLLT findings “Three donkey meat a day”. You as a messenger of hate have nothing to offer since you still are begging your masters for your daily survival, no shame albeit you brag about events you hardly have any influence except in your tiny kilil. You dream to influence ´the grater horn with what? begging and sending poor Ethiopians girls to Gulf states. Ayte Ras famine you dream too big for you barely know thy self, that you and your associates in crime are nothing but debunked craps

      • One Observer

        Latest News: አዲስ አበባ ውጥረት ሰፍኗል:: በከተማዋ ብዛት ያለው ወታደር ሰፍሯል:: ከፍተኛ የነዳጅ እጥረትም ተከስቷል::

  • Sent

    Here is a government taking full ownership and openly discussing what happened and how it can be avoided. No one should in fact die for expressing what they see it wrong. What’s is equally wrong, this site and the likes in diaspora who helped instigate civil war if possible but at a very least, make EPRDF look like an evil empire. The same people should never be able to comment unless to apologize and the same people are unqualified to take Ethiopia to the next level. In the same token, the lion turn cat leader in Asmera refused to even acknowledge there are even problems let alone to openly discuss the G15, constitutional order or election. Even has the nerve to tell people about self reliance while feeding centers provided by UNICEF and tourists can’t even move around without a permit. Until the end of this month, keep talking.

    • Halhal

      Since when did ethnic hatred, genocide and outright fabrications and patented lies became the hallmarks of “taking ownership”? You are on the wrong website my friend. You can go to TOL and dish out your delusional Woyane fabrications.

    • Berhane

      Feeding centre? U sure you are talking about Eritrea

    • Alem Mehari

      Ayte Ugumey
      Your two cents idiocy is only qualified in your hate mongering sites please spare us from your characterless diatribe, no room in our sites you may try to hail your cousins in crime, but not in our backyard.

    • Beles

      Mr?Mis sentiko here you go again mr logic this is for you
      https://youtu.be/FEL5ODf37bA

  • Ebay-Asmara

    The weyane, talk about the 700 souls they killed, as an achievement! It’s like they’re saying: “look, we aren’t that bad. We could’ve killed tens of thousands. But, we didn’t”

  • L.T

    Only 666

    • B.Adal

      Plus Woyane (Tax + Shipping + Handling)

  • Ethio

    This is a good example for those have eyes and ears its shows how transparency and the check and balance of working gov’t looks like.
    For us one life lost is too many. But, the country peace and rule of law were in the cross road so Ethiopian government had every right and responsibility to safe guard the rule of law and the constitution from hooligans and street rebels that got the destructive mission from extreme diaspora and Eritrea PFDJ regime.
    Asking any grievances peacefully is one thing but destroying public and investment property in the name of grievance is totally another thing so by this reasoning I have to say good job our government for keeping peace and safety for all Ethiopians but we must do more to educate our youth to not get fooled or destructive by internet warriors fake news.

    • Beles

      Ayet sentiko/ Ethio/sherger addis………… what ever your nick name is are those Amharas and oromos are hooligans for you hahhhhahhah kkkkkkkkkkkkkk lebish yaweka Mr.logis https://youtu.be/e0cFIOfwzzw

    • Beles

      be logic Mr/mis sentiko ብሶት የወለደው ትውልድ!!! are those people hooigans for you? maybe true they are not TPLF that make them hooligans and street rebels for youhttps
      ://youtu.be/5PQpCd846as

      • Ethio

        I appreciate you for being active to discussion. As human being you have every right to believe wherever you want to believe and made your own judgment out of it.
        Majority Ethiopians including me believes Ethiopia is in progressive trajectory in every spectrum for last decades but still there is a huge gap between what people demands and the country capacity to satisfy that demand b/c as everyone knows Ethiopia starts from the very low level and faces serious past challenge and continue to face future challenges as any developing countries you name it youth unemployment, corruption, maladminstration, weak national consensus and rebels conspiration with outside force to get to power in unconstitutional way but all this problems not new rather it is expected one for developing country like Ethiopia but the big question is not why these problems occur but how the Ethiopian government respond to tackle the problems.
        To make the story short for people like you it is not wise to discredit a government that tries to get better with all constraints its faces because Eritrea is the only country that has a government with out constitutional and transparent democracy. Thanks.

        • Mengis

          But the majority of Ethiopians such as oromo and amhara do not consider tegaru like you as a real Ethiopian and they believe you are the main problem for their causes

        • Meaza

          Tigrayans like you are a minority and only represents 6% of the population. Amhara and Oromo combined represent over 65% of the Ethiopian population and they are the majority and are known for their anti TPLF apartheid rule over Ethiopia. So which majority are you referring here?

          And please stop telling crap like ‘Ethiopia is in developmental trajectory’ because the facts speaks otherwise. It’s yet the second poorest country on the planet with 67 out the 90 million people do not have electricity (lives in total darkness), over 47 million do not have access to safe drinking water, over 10 million people starved to death annually, etc… etc ….

          Where do these 67 million people live? Not only in Addis Ababa or Tigray. Because you built with Chinese money and labor a rail way in Addis doesn’t mean you’re developing. Rather, you are creating job and resource market to China besides putting your country to debt.

          Development is when wealth and opportunity distributed through out equally. How many of the 90 million miserable people get access to health care, to education, infrastructure such as road networks, and most importantly, how many of the 90 million eat three time a day? This are real development goals. You achieved none of the said goals and as a matter fact, your record on those development measures are way behind other sub-saharan countries including Eritrea.

          If you are here for a real debate, bring your facts with verifiable figures to show as how far your woyane developed Ethiopia. I’ll put forward Eritrea’s development records and see who achieved most with less. Otherwise, cheap talk is not helping anyone on this forum unless you are here to churn out propaganda.

          • Ethio

            I think you are watching to many vampires movies and expect all the people of Ethiopia to act like zombies. So, first deferenciat reality from fiction before saying something you don’t know.
            Don’t compare the uncomparable it is like comparing China and North Korea.
            Its not an illusion when we say we are developing to give you an example:- currently we have 33,000 health extension workers including thousands number of health centers through out the country compare to disastrous situation in 1991. in 2017 there are 42,330 elementary-secondary schools (from only 4,278 primary and secondary schools in 1991) and more than 26 million students in school in the country (compared to 2 million out of a population of 48 million in 1991) Primary school coverage has reached 96%, and 41% of secondary school age students are in school. Most importantly, Ethiopian children are today studying in their mother tongue, and 51 different languages are used as mediums of instruction in primary schools. In 1991, there were only two universities in Ethiopia but today, there are 36 public universities and this number will increase to 44 at the end of the second Growth and Transformation Plan (2015-2020). Private higher education are now approximately 66, starting from no single one in 1991. Access to clean water reach 62% in 2017 from only 8% in 1991. FDI reach 1.5 billions in 1/2 year of 2016/17 from only <100 million in 1991.
            Energy production has increased to more than 4400 MW in 2017 from less than 200 MW in 1991 and new projects in the wind farm, solar energy and more dams are underway.
            The total all weather road coverage has reached 120,000 km just from 33,000 km in 1991 and 70% of the Ethiopian villages have connected with roads and 96% of the country is covered with telephone network in 2017. here it is that is a fact.

          • Beles

            kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk here you go again Mr.logic IQ 63

          • B.Adal

            After eating Donkey KitFo, I wouldn’t be surprised if his IQ dropped to 53.

          • Chill out dude. That’s not how economic development is measured. As a starter, divide whatever figure you produce here to one hundred million people and then you will get the right comparison.

            Till you do that, I will leave you with the following eye opening information for your own insanity. The UN’s Human Development Index have just placed your Ethiopia below the sub-Saharan African average – again!

            Report Puts Ethiopia Below Average

            Life expectancy in Ethiopia soared by 17.5 years in the past 15 years from 1995 – 2015 as crawling Human Development Index (HDI) remains at 0.448, below both the average of 0.497 for countries in the low human development group and below the average of 0.523 for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, in 2015, according to the UNDP.

            The HDI is a summary measure for assessing progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

            Ethiopia’s HDI value for 2015 is 0.448, which puts the country in the low human development category, positioning it at 174th out of 188 countries and territories recognized by the UN.

            With regard to multidimensional poverty indicator, which identifies multiple overlapping deprivations suffered by households in three dimensions: education, health and living standards, it was also depicted that 88.2% of the population (79,298,000 people) are multi-dimensionally poor while an additional 6.7 % live near multidimensional poverty (6,047,000 people).

            Even if the HDI result is one of the lowest in the world, it was reported that between 2000 and 2015, Ethiopia’s HDI value increased from 0.283 to 0.448, an increase of 58.2 %.

            https://addisfortune.net/articles/report-puts-ethiopia-below-average/

            Oh, did you just mention about Education too? Open your eye dude. This is not my words but, The Economist this week released some funny report about the state of education in your country.

            In Ethiopia’s public universities, classes are overcrowded and lecturers often underqualified

            “In 2000 Ethiopia had 2 public universities; by 2015 it had 29. “These are not universities, they’re shells,” says Paul O’Keefe, a researcher who has interviewed many Ethiopian academics, and heard stories of overcrowded classrooms, lecturers who have nothing more than undergraduate degrees themselves and government spies on campus. ….

            https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21720648-over-recruitment-continent-wide-problem-african-universities-recruit-too-many?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/morecanbelessafricanuniversitiesrecruittoomanystudents

          • One Observer

            Crazy! Only in TPLF Ethiopia do you find that …. university teachers with only undergraduate degrees teaching Ph.D. candidates. ESAT and other media outlets have covered this issue extensively… and TPLF did all this fully knowing the consequences of such bad policy. I heard one Ethiopian calling this a “genocide.”

          • They are obsessed with numbers, quantity giving almost no regard to quality. That’s why a graduate from their so called university can not write a proper letter or speak a formal English language. I’m not to exaggerate but in comparison, Eritrea is at a much better position. Look at our athletes, for instance, they are only high school graduates but their English is great and express themselves very well even in front of at international event or a live TV camera.

    • Mengis

      The amhara, oromo, and the other tribes do not want any tegaru near their land even the fake constitution allow them to exercise their right to kick all the tegaru out of their land and that is why there is no government in most of the oromo region

  • Meaza

    As if 669 lives are nothing, the government affiliated organ trying to downplay the crime. Aren’t Oromos and Amharas human beings? Why are Tigraians are trying to belittle the lose of such hefty lives in their country by their own government as something that is not a big deal?

    This is a crime of the highest order. Even if the crime can be ignored by the international community for political expediency, the loss of this magnitude of Amhara and Oromo lives will not be ignored by the rest of the Ethiopian people and the only way Amhara and Oromo redress from this massacre is by taking the regime and its Tigray supporters accountable.

    Such killings will only aggravate the hate up on the people of Tigray and also widen the already ethnic based division among the people of Ethiopia. If you ask me, I would love to hear more of the same. Why? Because that is the only sure way to shorten the criminal TPLF regime’s miserable life.

    Let’s hope the coward and empty fukera of Amhara and Oromo people are over and they soon increase their salvo against the killer regime for their own sake of freedom. Otherwise these 699 deaths will follow up with another 6990 more. Act or die trying.

    • Wedi Amete

      Killing 700 pure Ethiopian unarmed protesters on a broad day light and the measure taken to kill them all was “proportional”. Isn’t this barbaric?

      • Sancho

        Hailemariam Desalegn is simply a joke. He recently tells the BBC that no outside investigator is allowed to investigate about human rights violations in the country because Ethiopia is an independent country. LOL

        He also joked by saying the government could make mistakes because ‘democracy’ is very young in Ethiopia, only 4 or 5 elections (if he says 20 or 25 years, then he knows he would face another question: you have been in power for too long? And why? “Well, because we are popular.” If you are popular, how come you killed at least 669 civilians by your own account?

        Ethiopia has no hope with this thug regime. I mean it.

        https://youtu.be/ZF8SnAd7yAc

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