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Angry protestors attack foreign firms in Ethiopia

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by Yilu Moyilu.mo@alleastafrica.com

ADDIS ABABA – Hundreds of rampaging protesters have attacked foreign-owned businesses in the Oromia and Amhara regions, sources said on Friday.
The protesters chanting anti-government slogans have at first attacked torched flower farms owned by a Dutch company Esmeralda Farms before targeting other business with perceived links to the government in the area.

The flowers industry is a major export for the horn of Africa nation which has seen deadly violent protests in recent months in which rights group say hundreds have been killed.

Flowers industry is a major export for the horn of Africa nation which has seen deadly violent protests in recent months in which rights group say hundreds have been killed.

In a statement issued on early Friday, Esmeralda Farms said that protestors have inflicted damage worth millions of dollars.

The development came after weeks of escalating protests that started among the Oromo, Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, and later spread to the Amhara, the second most populous group.

Both groups of protesters are demanding more political and economic rights, and say that a ruling coalition is dominated by the Tigrayan ethnic group, which makes up about 6 percent of the population.

According to the New York-based Human Rights Watch group, security forces have killed at least 500 people since the unrest began in November and thousands of people have been arrested.

The government has denied that violence from the security forces is “systemic” and pledged to launch an independent investigation, blaming opposition groups inside and outside of the country and what it called “anti-peace” elements for the chaos.


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