Baku, July 23, AZERTAC
Hospital officials in Ethiopia have reported that at least 25 people have died in clashes between Ethiopian security forces and activists in southern Ethiopia, China Global Television Network reported.
The officials said security forces fired bullets during the protests across the Sidama region.
Activists from the Sidama ethnic group were planning to declare their own federal state on Thursday.
They accused the government of failing to hold a promised referendum on the issue.
The Sidama are Ethiopia’s fifth biggest ethnic group, making up 4% of the population.
The four bigger communities all have their own regions within Ethiopia’s ethnically based federal system.
While the threat of large-scale violence in Hawassa was largely averted after a Sidama opposition party agreed to delay the declaration and accept a government offer to hold a referendum in five months, not all Sidama people accepted the delay.
Reports from activists and opposition groups indicate that the death toll could be higher than what has been reported.
Members of other ethnic groups were also killed after being attacked by angry mobs.
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