Ethiopia: Amhara and Oromia Region MPs Boycott Parliament

Member of Parliaments from Ethiopia’s Amhara and Oromia regions have boycotted parliament
Ethiopia’s three-pronged security crisis: Anti-government protests on the one hand, ethnic violence and serial killings and violence across universities. (Photo: Nahom Tesfaye / The Reporter)

BY MARY HARPER | BBC NEWS

Member of Parliaments from Ethiopia’s Amhara and Oromia regions have boycotted parliament. They say there is no point in parliament meeting until Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn gives an explanation for ongoing ethnic unrest in the country.

The Amharas and Oromos have been protesting against what they say is political and economic marginalization.



There have also been months of deadly clashes between the Oromos and the Somalis, with more than 60 people killed last week.

On Wednesday, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition blamed weaknesses in its executive for the ongoing trouble.

At least 61 people [gov’t counts] have lost their lives in clashes in Ethiopia’s Oromia region since Thursday, local authorities say.

Ethnic Somali gunmen killed 29 Oromos in Hawi Gudina, who then responded by killing 32 ethnic Somali Ethiopians in a revenge attack in Daro Lebu District, according to regional spokesman Addisu Arega Kitessa.
Mr Addisu said more than 350 homes were also destroyed.

The violence began after “gunmen who do not represent our peaceful Somali brothers began attacking Ibsa and Tao neighbourhoods… after mingling with peaceful residents”, the spokesman said in a statement.

He said the region was “working to bring the perpetrators to justice”, news agency Reuters reported.

The deaths came days after soldiers opened fire on protesters in in Oromia’s Chelenko town, killing 16 ethnic Oromos.

Regional president Lema Megersa said it was unclear who ordered the deployment of the military on Tuesday, but said “this illegal act should be punished”.

Hundreds have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in months of ethnic clashes and anti-government protests in the regional state.