Ethiopia Protesters in Bahir Dar Clashed with Security Forces

April 22, 2021

Security forces reportedly fired tear gas in Bahir to deter angry protesters who were said to be confrontational


As protests against the massacre of Amhara continued in several cities in the region, there was a clash between protesters and security forces in Bahir Dar. 

Social Media sources say there were road closures and a tendency to vandalize buildings. Furthermore, protesters threw rocks against security forces to which they responded by firing tear gas. 

Massive demonstrations in Bahir Dar on Tuesday and Wednesday were peaceful to the extent that the regional administration confirmed it. 

According to a report by Amhara Media Corporation, regional authorities condemned the protest in Bahir Dar on Thursday saying “The signs observed in today’s demonstration are improper and outside the motive of the demonstration. It was intended to pervert the objective of the demonstration.” 

The regional administration added it will not have an option but to enforce the rule of law. 

The clash between security forces and protesters has triggered conversations and debates on social media. A considerable number of those who are perceived as a staunch supporters of the protest against Amhara Genocide tend to disapprove of confrontation against Amhara special forces – perhaps the only security forces in the entire country with overstretched activities including in connection with what the Federal government calls “law enforcement operations in Tigray region.” 

However, Amhara activists have also mercilessly criticized Amhara regional state over a statement it released on Wednesday in which it criticized the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) for allegedly pursuit of power on the back of the demonstrations that are meant to condemn the massacre of Amhara. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed resonated a similar tone during a meeting with regional heads of states and election board authorities over the upcoming election saying “We have been there ; we know the game. Government will not be changed through noise ; only through the ballot box.”  

Pervasive protests in the Amhara region of Ethiopia this week came after more than 250,000 people were displaced and unknown number of people killed in North Shoa and South Wollo (both in Amhara region) when a group that is believed to be the radical the armed wing of Oromo Liberation Front attacked cities for five days in a row. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government is criticized for not protecting civilians. No official statement was given either from his office regarding the five  days long massacre that claimed hundreds of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. 

There is noticeably growing skepticism that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government might have been involved in the attack by way of facilitating it and arming the radical groups albeit there are voices that tend to absolve the Prime Minister from the allegation.  

More Demonstrations in Amhara Region

Meanwhile, more demonstrations have been reported from several cities in the Amhara region. Debre Berhan, which is only 120 kilometers north of Addis Ababa, saw a thunderous protest. 

Enjibara, Mota, Debre Tabor, Gonder (where there was a massive open air prayer on Wednesday) are some cities where there was protest against Amhara genocide on Thursday. 

Protesters condemned the government for failure to protect the security and safety of citizens. 

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