Ethiopia's crackdown on dissent takes rising toll

Rights groups say 140 people killed in recent weeks as government moves forward with controversial development plans.

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    Wolonkomi, Ethiopia - Security forces have killed at least 140 people during a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations in Ethiopia in recent weeks, activists and rights groups say.
     
    The protests - by members of the country's largest ethnic group, Oromo - have been prompted by fears that farmers will be displaced by government development plans.

    The government has admitted to killing dozens of protesters, and has promised to launch an investigation.

    However, the protesters and families of those shot say they have little hope that an investigation will lead anywhere, or that their political demands will be met.

    One injured woman, whose family spoke to Al Jazeera, will receive medical assistance from authorities, the government said on Sunday.

    According to the government, 13 security forces have also been killed in the violence and an investigation is under way. 

    "The government is cautiously trying to avoid recognising real problems in the society," Merera Gudina, an opposition leader, told Al Jazeera.

    "In fact, Ethiopian society is simply fed up with the regime, especially the youth. The young people have lost hope."

    The protests have largely calmed down, but security forces remain in affected areas.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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