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The main cause for the Oromo protest, three article was removed

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Added by kuzak in News Radio programs
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The main cause for the Oromo protest, three article was removed

March 26, 2016 Aljazeera reported the following article

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  - At first sight, things seem to have returned to normality in the town of Ambo, 120 kilometres west of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Few uniformed security forces are visible on the streets. People seem to go about their daily lives as usual.

But speak to almost any resident and a different picture emerges.

"We are living in a violent kind of peace," says an 18-year-old student, who does not want to reveal his name. Like many people interviewed for this story, he fears he might end up in jail, or worse, for speaking his mind.

Ambo is perhaps best known for two things: Ethiopia's most popular mineral water, and its university, often a hot spot for anti-government demonstrations. Such displays of public dissent earned the town a reputation as the bastion of opposition in a country where the ruling party and its allies took all 547 parliament seats in last year's election.

 
When people took to the streets in nearby Ginchi in November last year to object about plans to requisition public land for an investment, residents in Ambo soon joined in. Demonstrations spread like wildfire across the vast Oromia region, feeding on decade-long frustrations over political and economic marginalisation.

As the protests intensified, so did accounts of police brutality amid what regime critics describe as a widespread and systematic government crackdown on opponents. Witnesses recount tales of killings, beatings and arbitrary arrests by an array of armed forces deployed to quell what had spiralled into Ethiopia's worst civil unrest in a decade.

The heavy-handedness of the government has further spurred anger among the Oromo. Earlier in March, students from Addis Ababa University marched in protest towards the US embassy in the capital,  demanding the end to police crackdowns.

Details of the crackdowns, mostly reported through social media and by activists, have been difficult to verify. Restrictions on movement have made independent investigations risky for human rights workers and journalists alike. Two foreign journalists and their translator were recently arrested  for covering the protests.

The 18-year-old student in Ambo told Al Jazeera that he was shot in his hand when the military opened fire at the protesting crowd. Even though his hand is healing, he hasn't returned to school in fear of intelligence officers, who are allegedly combing classrooms for those who took part in the protests.

"They are still looking for people and taking them to prison," he said, trying to conceal the dressing on his hand to avoid attracting the attention of security personnel, who many think are roaming the streets in civilian clothing.

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