The recent anti-government demonstrations are by far the biggest and most widespread protests that Ethiopia has seen since EPRDF came to power.

By Edith Honan, Nairobi ( |

A wave of anti-government protests is endangering the political stability of Ethiopia, one of Africa’s best-performing economies.

Thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate in Addis Ababa, the capital, in towns across Oromia, a restless region of central and southern Ethiopia, and in Bahir Dar in the country’s north over the weekend.

ALSO READ Ethiopia Protests: At Least 90 People Killed by Security Forces during Anti-government Rallies

Activists accused government forces of firing on protesters, and Amnesty International said at least 67 people were killed and hundreds wounded.

The government has denied that live ammunition was used against the protesters.

“What we are seeing is very localized protests merging into a much larger political threat against the government,” said Rashid Abdi, Horn of Africa project director at the International Crisis Group, a think-tank. “I think the government is fearful that these protests may actually engulf the whole country. That is why you are seeing this heavy-handed crackdown.”

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