Ethiopia admits 2016 unrest death toll reached 669
( Euractiv) -Long-standing grievances over land-allocation and political marginalisation in the Oromia and Amhara regions saw spontaneous ‘illegal’ protests and the killing of some 600 civilians by security forces, according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
That lead to a six-month state of emergency in one of the few stable states in Horn of Africa, and a major beneficiary of EU and NGO aid.
The Ethiopian government has hit back after the international outcry over the rising death toll from protests in the country, blaming “outside forces” for fomenting the trouble.
At first the official figure for the dead was 177, although groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were already saying the number was closer to between 400 and 500.
The EHRC report, appointed by the government and given to parliament on 18 April, gives a total of 669 deaths, with a detailed breakdown.
It finds that 495 people (465 civilians, 33 security personnel) died in Oromia, 140 people (110 civilians and 30 security personnel) in Amhara and 34 people in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNP) regional states.