Ethio­pi­an pro­tes­ters at­tack fac­to­ries in Afri­ca’s ri­sing eco­no­mic star

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

ETHIOPIA - Pro­tes­ters in Ethiopia ha­ve da­ma­ged al­most a do­zen most­ly fo­reig­now­ned fac­to­ries and flo­wer farms and de­st­roy­ed sco­res of ve­hi­cles this week, ad­ding eco­no­mic ca­su­al­ties to a ri­sing de­ath toll in a wa­ve of un­rest over land grabs and po­li­ti­cal rights.

The vi­o­len­ce al­so casts a sha­dow over a na­ti­on whe­re a sta­te-led in­du­stri­al dri­ve has cre­a­ted one of Afri­ca’s fas­test gro­wing eco­no­mies, but whe­re the govern­ment has al­so fa­ced ri­sing in­ter­na­ti­o­nal cri­ti­cism and po­pu­lar op­po­si­ti­on to its au­tho­ri­ta­ri­an ap­pro­ach to de­vel­op­ment. The la­test fla­re-up fol­lows the de­ath of at least 55 people in a stam­pe­de on Sun­day when po­li­ce fired tear gas and shot in­to the air to dis­per­se de­mon­stra­tors in the Oro­miya re­gi­on near the ca­pi­tal. It rai­ses to mo­re than 450 the num­ber of people rights groups and op­po­nents say ha­ve been kil­led in un­rest sin­ce 2015. A US re­searcher was kil­led on Tues­day when her car was at­tack­ed by sto­ne-thro­wers near Ad­dis Aba­ba. The govern­ment says the toll ci­ted by cri­tics is in­fla­ted. Fa­na Broad­cas­ting, which is seen as clo­se to the sta­te, re­por­ted on its web­si­te that 11 com­pa­nies ran­ging from tex­ti­le firms to a plas­tics ma­ker to flo­wer farms had been da­ma­ged or de­st­roy­ed, whi­le mo­re than 60 ve­hi­cles had been tor­ched. The ma­na­ger one of the Tur­kish com­pa­nies, tex­ti­le firm Say­gin Di­ma, told Reu­ters this week at least a third of his fac­to­ry was bur­ned down af­ter it was at­tack­ed. Fa­na’s web­si­te showed ima­ges of bur­ned-out trucks on the road si­de, bla­ming the da­ma­ge on “per­pet­ra­tors of vi­o­len­ce”, echo­ing the li­ne ta­ken by the govern­ment, which ac­cu­ses lo­cal re­bel groups and dis­si­dents ba­sed abroad for sto­king the un­rest. It said the firms da­ma­ged had cre­a­ted 40,000 jobs in a coun­try of 99 mil­li­on people that has long been bligh­ted by fa­mi­ne but which has been rapid­ly trans­for­ming its for­tu­nes, de­li­ve­ring growth ra­tes that hit 10 per­cent in fis­cal 2015/16. (Reu­ters.com)

DE­MON­STRA­TORS CHANT SLOGANS WHI­LE flASHING THE OROMO PRO­TEST GESTURE DU­RING THE THANKSGIVING FES­TI­VAL IN BISHOFTU TOWN.(PHO­TO: REU­TERS.COM)

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