At least four killed in Ethiopia clashes

At least four people have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters in Ethiopia’s eastern Harari regional state.

Nesredin Ali, Harari regional state police commissioner confirmed the deaths which happened on Sunday as the demonstrators clashed with government security forces.

Ali also confirmed another 10 people were injured in the clashes while seven trucks carrying humanitarian aid were destroyed in the unrest.

He didn’t specify what caused the unrest or who the anti-peace forces were.

“In addition, machineries amounting to 150 million Ethiopian birr (5.5 million US dollars) were destroyed in the unrest,” Ali said.

Ethiopia is still reeling from unrest that affected large parts of the country in 2016. The violence led to the deaths of hundreds and was dubbed by analysts as the gravest challenge the ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front faced in 25 years.

The unrest involving parts of the three most populous regions of Amhara, Oromia and Southern regional states led to an imposition of martial law in October 2016 which was only lifted in August 2017.

The latest clashes come on the back of a government decision to free hundreds of detainees from the lengthy protests from two years ago. Those freed include opposition leaders.

The government hopes the release of the detainees will open the way for dialogue and eventually lead to the end of  the unrest.