A regional government in Ethiopia has confirmed that 52 people have been killed in a stampede after police tried to disperse an anti-government protest at a massive religious festival.
The Oromia regional government confirmed the death toll late on Sunday. The government is also declaring three days of national mourning. The stampede occurred in one of the East African country’s most politically sensitive regions, Oromia.
It has seen months of sometimes deadly demonstrations demanding wider freedoms.
Meanwhile, members of Australia’s Ethiopian community are calling on the Australian government to help stop what they call a Rwanda- style genocide committed by Ethiopia’s government.
After a vigil held in Sydney last night they say an ongoing campaign of threats and intimidation here in Australia won’t silence them anymore. It comes after fifty people were killed in a stampede at a religious festival overnight in the Oromia Region.
“They are terrorising the Ethiopian people, they are killing our people, you know genocide, they’re killing indiscriminately,” Tesfaye Engdawork Maru, chairman of the NSW Ethiopian Association told SBS.
He says if the West was moved to act in Syria or Rwanda – it should intervene in Ethiopia.He wants to see a truth and reconciliation commission, similar to that held in post-Apartheid South Africa.