Protests in Ethiopia Threaten to Mar Image of Its Nobel-Winning Leader

Protests in Ethiopia Threaten to Mar Image of Its Nobel-Winning Leader

The protests appeared to have been sparked by a prominent critic of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who claimed the police had tried to orchestrate an attack on him.

Oromo youth outside the home of Jawad Mohammed, the founder of an independent media network in Ethiopia, on Wednesday. CreditTiksa Negeri/Reuters

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia(nytimes)- — Protests against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia erupted on Wednesday, threatening to taint the aura around his newly won Nobel Peace Prize, after a prominent critic accused the police of attempting to orchestrate an attack on him.

The accusations made by the critic, Jawar Mohammed, founder of an independent media network, fueled simmering political tensions in the landlocked nation of 110 million, the most populous in Africa after Nigeria. The protests came a day after Mr. Abiy warned in Parliament that unidentified media owners were fomenting ethnic unrest.

Hundreds of supporters of Mr. Jawar, an Ethiopian activist who has American citizenship and was in exile in the United States until last year, gathered outside his Addis Ababa home, which was surrounded by police officers.