Monday, October 3, 2016

National Mourning Begins In Ethiopia

Ethiopians are observing three days of national mourning after people died during a protest at a religious festival in the Oromia region on Sunday.

There is a dispute over what caused the deaths.

A statement on Ethiopia's state broadcaster said the mourning is to "commemorate innocent citizens who lost their lives because of the violence instigated by anti-peace forces".

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn earlier blamed rioters for the "mayhem" which led to a stampede.

Opposition activists say the panic was caused when security forces fired teargas and bullets into the large crowd which had gathered for a thanksgiving ceremony.

They also say that the death toll is far higher than the official figure of 52.

There has been months of tension in Ethiopia's Oromia region after a series of protests in which Oromo people have been complaining of political and economic marginalisation.