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Seven killed in protestor-police clashes in northern Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Clashes during a religious festival in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state has left seven people dead, a regional official said Sunday.

Amare Goshu, Head of North Wollo Zone Police Department at Amhara state, said the deaths happened on Saturday and Sunday in Woldiya city, as crowds shouting anti-government slogans clashed with security forces.

The deaths happened during Epiphany celebrations commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ.

He said six of the dead were civilians and one was a security officer, while two other officers and 15 civilians were injured.

Goshu also said several private houses, cars and hotels were set ablaze.

Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state plunged into unrest in the second half of 2016 for reasons including a rumored disgruntlement of reallocation of a district to neighboring region.

Many Amharas that make up about 28 percent of Ethiopia’s population allege political and economic marginalization by the central government based in Addis Ababa. 



Ethiopia says 148 rebels from Eritrea surrender

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government on Sunday said 148 rebels have surrendered to Ethiopian security forces in recent weeks.

The surrenders are said to be members of the outlawed rebel group Gambella People’s Liberation Front (GPLM), said Gat Luack, President of Gambella regional state.

He said the rebels had previously been based in neighboring Eritrea, but decided to return to Ethiopia to participate in the country’s peace and development activities.

The Ethiopian government alleges the rebel group is supported by its archrival country Eritrea, while Eritrea accuses Ethiopia of supporting Eritrean rebel groups and running an international campaign to isolate the Red Sea nation.

Since Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia following a referendum in 1993, the two nations have been locked in a hostile border dispute, which resulted in a bloody border war between 1998 and 2000 that killed an estimated 70,000 people from both sides.

Since then, the common border between Eritrea and Ethiopia has had an uneasy calm punctuated with periodic armed standoffs.



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