Blood and terror on the streets as protests grip Ethiopia, govt vows to 'act without mercy'
Tuesday December 22 2015
Ethiopians from the Oromo group pictured on December 15, 2015 blocking a road in Wolenkomi, some 60km west of Addis Ababa, after protesters were shot dead by security forces PHOTO | WILLIAM DAVISON | AFP
Rights groups have repeatedly criticised Ethiopia's use of anti-terrorism legislation to stifle peaceful dissent, with the US expressing concern over the recent crackdown and urging the government to employ restraint.
But Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn declared on television that the government would act "without mercy in the fight against forces which are trying to destabilise the region."
Land is at the heart of the problem. Under Ethiopia's constitution, all land belongs to the state, with owners legally considered tenants — raising fears amongst the Oromo that a wave of dispossession is on its way.