Leaders from the Inter-religious Council of Ethiopia have appealed for calm and a national dialogue as the country amidst continuing protests and targeting of businesses in the country.
The government has confirmed that after the attack on Dangote’s business concerns on Monday, 10 other businesses have been burnt down and looted in the Oromia region. The government blames the violence on organized criminals.
The Information Minister Getachew Reda, is reported by the BBC to have said, the motorbike riding criminal gangs involved in the violence used petrol bombs to attack their targets.
Trucks and machinery belonging to the Dangote group – owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote – were burned by protesters in restive region following a deadly stampede at a festival last Sunday.
RT africanews Several dead, many injured after crackdown on Oromia protest in Ethiopia | Africanews https://t.co/AAMZU5rkNT— #AfricaIsRising (@Africa_IsRising) October 3, 2016
The government has repeatedly denied claims by the opposition that the security forces were to blame for the panic that resulted in the stampede. Official figures indicate that 55 people died.
Among the thousands of festival participants, a number of them marched chanting anti-government slogans and their arms crossed above their heads.
The Oromia region lies south of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and is the center of the Oromia protests last year which Human Rights Watch reported that over 400 protesters were killed.