Anti-government identity and regional protests in northern Ethiopia likely to spread, causing property damage and disrupting tourism

IHS Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report

At least 5,000 demonstrators (primarily ethnic Amhara) protested on July 14 in the city of Gondar, Amhara Region, with 20 people (including police officers) killed in resulting confrontations with security forces involving batons, tear gas, and exchanges of heavy gunfire that continued until July 17, 20016

Arson attacks targeted government and Tigray-affiliated properties, including retail shops, public buses operated by the government-owned EFFORT conglomerate, and two hotels. In response, foreign tourists based in Gondar were evacuated to the capital Addis Ababa between July 16 and 17 by the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopian media sources reported the protests began after Tigrayan regional police disguised as Federal Police arrested the chairman (Colonel Demeke Zewdu) and other members of the “Welkait Ahmara Identity Committee” on 12 July, alleging possession of a weapons cache and plans to attack government forces with support from neighboring Eritrea.

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