According to various human rights groups, the security services in Ethiopia have killed at least 140 people during crackdowns on anti-government protests.
The protests, which were conducted by the Oromo the country’s largest ethnic group, were sparked by fears that farmers would be displaced by various development projects launched by the government.
The government admitted to killing dozens, although not the 140 claimed by activists, during clashes between security forces and the protesters. Government officials also promised to launch an investigation into the deaths of the protesters.
However, most of the families of the victims do not believe these investigations will lead anywhere or that the political demands of the protesters will be met.
The government has also claimed that 13 security officers were killed in the violence.
An opposition leader, Merera Gudina, speaking to Al Jazeera explained that the protests were largely an outgrowth of frustration with the government and society as a whole.
“The government is cautiously trying to avoid recognising real problems in society.
“In fact, Ethiopian society is simply fed up with the regime, especially the youth. The young people have lost hope,” the opposition leader explained.