These eruptions — the latest in Oromia region, south west of Addis Ababa, and the unrest in Amhara in August — are fueling Ethiopia’s worst conflagration since 1991.

By Micha Odenheimer (The Times of Israel) |

BAHIR DAR, EthiopiaWhat does it feel like at ground zero of a popular uprising? For the past two decades, Ethiopia has been considered one of Africa’s success stories. Its rate of economic growth has been the measure of all things, even as a once-promising democracy has hardened into authoritarian party rule.

In recent days, Ethiopia has seen a stampede kill scores of protesters whose deaths are blamed on security forces, spurring further clashes. On Monday, Israel issued an advisory to its citizens traveling to Ethiopia, the second of its kind in several weeks. The earlier warning came shortly after I returned from Ethiopia, where I found myself in the eye of the storm in the Amhara region in the country’s center. Towns there have been in open revolt against the federal government, which has sent in thousands of troops in an effort to regain control.

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These eruptions — the latest in Oromia, southeast of Addis Ababa, and the unrest I encountered in Amhara in August — are fueling the east African nation’s worst conflagration since 1991, when rebels from the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) took control in Addis Ababa, ending the rule of communist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.

Continue reading this story on The Times of Israel
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