Ethiopia has rejected accusations of a brutal crackdown of Oromo protesters after reports said that
dozens of people had been killed while taking part in anti-government demonstrations.
Last week, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that at least 140 people had died during the recent wave of protests.
But Abiy Berhane from Ethiopia’s London embassy has disputed the numbers and said that the HRW figures came from opposition supporters.
He says the government “has been trying to avoid confrontation with the people”, but the protests were hijacked “by people whose intention it was to induce violent confrontation”.
Demonstrations are rare in Ethiopia and the current Oromo anger over urban planning is an expression of much older complaints over a lack of political and economic inclusion.