The government of Ethiopia has dismissed claims that it is violently suppressing anti-government protests in the Oromia region.
According to a report released by Human Rights Watch on Monday, Ethiopian security forces are using violence to stop the protests that began in November last year.
It further indicates that the security personnel in the country have fatally shot scores of demonstrators, while thousands have been arrested and remain in detention without charge.
However, the government has said the situation in Oromia remains largely under control.
The protesters have been demonstrating over plans by the government to develop farmland outside the capital, Addis Ababa, into a new business zone, dubbed the “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan.”
While the protesters say the plan will lead to loss of autonomy and marginalization of the Oromo people, the government maintains the plan to develop the farmland which will bring new business and will benefit all groups.
Oromos are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, comprising about 40 percent of the country’s population.