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Ethiopia

Yearbook 2016

Ethiopia. According to countryaah, Ethiopia was shaken during the year by extensive government-critical protests, which were met by violence from security forces with hundreds of deaths as a result.

2016 Ethiopia

Students and peasants objected to the government's plan to expand Addis Ababa with a special economic zone, where industries, large-scale agriculture and housing would take over large land from the unemployed people. The protests became so extensive that in January the government decided to withdraw its plans.

But demonstrations against the government continued, and in June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that at least 400 people have been killed since November 2015 in connection with defeated protests. According to HRW, tens of thousands had been arrested, often arbitrarily. Detainees were held without trial and subjected to torture. The government rejected the data as exaggerated.

In August, new reports of violence came. According to Amnesty, at least 97 people were killed by security forces and hundreds were injured in demonstrations among the Oromo people. The protests also spread into the capital Addis Ababa. Also in Gonder in the north there were large demonstrations among the Amharas, and two local politicians were arrested accused of revolt.

In October, the government decided to introduce an emergency permit for six months to end the protests. According to the UN, at that time a total of 600 people had been shot dead in connection with demonstrations, and the World Organization demanded an international investigation.

In October, at least 50 people were killed in a panic that erupted when police used tear gas at a religious festival that turned into a government-critical protest. Participants crossed the wrists over their heads, a signal used in previous protests, chaos ensued, police attacks with tear gas and batons and people were trampled to death in the crowd.

In November, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn tried to respond to six months of protests by replacing half his government and hiring experts as ministers for health, agriculture and the environment. Finance and Foreign Ministers were also replaced. Nine of the new ministers were among the unions, who led the protest movement.

The drought in Ethiopia was the worst in 30 years, since the weather phenomenon of El Nińo appeared more severe than in a long time. The UN warned in March that up to 15 million Ethiopians could be threatened by acute malnutrition if they were not given food aid. Most were children. Every third school child had to cancel school due to a lack of food.

A woman who was abducted as a child, raped and forced into marriage was sentenced in March to $ 150,000 in damages. It was the African Commission on Human and Public Rights who ordered the Ethiopian government to replace her after an Ethiopian court acquitted the perpetrators. The government was asked to address the problems of forced marriages, kidnappings and rapes.

At least 216 people were killed, close to 150 young children were robbed and thousands of animals were stolen when an armed group in April crossed the border from South Sudan to the west. Ethiopian military entered South Sudan, and in June, the UN Children's Fund UNICEF stated that most of the children were returned. Smaller thefts in the border area are common, but the violent attack in April drove thousands of Ethiopians to flee their homes.

In June, Ethiopia and Eritrea accused each other of armed attacks across the border. According to Eritrean data, at least 200 Ethiopians were killed in the severe clashes and more than 300 were injured. Ethiopia did not confirm this information.

Ethiopian-Swedish doctor Fikru Maru, who has been incarcerated in Ethiopia since 2013, was sentenced in October to four years and eight months in prison. He was accused of knowing of undue pressure from a minister against the prosecutor when a previous bribe against him was dropped. In December, however, a new trial was initiated against Fikru with charges of terrorism.

Conservators discovered a previously unknown lion tribe during the year with perhaps up to 200 animals in the Alatash National Park at the border with Sudan. Since the number of lions has fallen sharply in Africa for several decades, the discovery was considered important.

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