contents
Your weekly briefing on the state of 
humanity
SEE ALL ISSUES
EDITOR'S LETTER
The people decide
NEWS FEATURE 1
Raising the stakes: Trump and Kim edge closer to nuclear war
NEWS FEATURE 2
Facebook's identity crisis
DIGEST AMERICAS
The arrests of two fugitive governors arouse suspicion in Mexico
DIGEST AMERICAS
Will the Odebrecht corruption scandal bury Lula’s legend?
DIGEST EUROPE
France’s four-horse election race leaves Europe in the balance
DIGEST EUROPE
Britain gears up for a snap Brexit election
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Trump signals lethal intent with the ‘Mother of All Bombs’
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Vigilante justice reigns strong in Pakistan
DIGEST AFRICA
Road rage in Zambia: Opposition leader faces treason charge
DIGEST AFRICA
A report adds to the controversy over Ethiopia's Oromo protests
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Palestinian prisoners go on mass hunger strike
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Syria’s ‘four towns’ evacuation deal turns into a massacre
THE PICTURE
A baptism of fireworks
GOOD NEWS
Tropical diseases are being treated at an unprecedented rate
Rain for famine-struck Somalia
THE  INFOGRAPHIC
Where on Earth did that come from?
IN SCIENCE
Can drugs really take you to a higher state of consciousness?
IN MEDICINE
Three-foot ‘giant worm’ discovered in Philippines
IN TECHNOLOGY
On a frozen Saturn moon, the ingredients for life
www.theguardian.com
Chechens tell of prison beatings and electric shocks in anti-gay purge: ‘They called us animals’
www.middleeasteye.net
For women only: Coffee, billiards and cards in Gaza cafe
www.bbc.co.uk
Living with the dead - BBC News

A report adds to the controversy over Ethiopia's Oromo protests

Ethiopian Politics
See 12 more
Government forces hold back Oromo people as they stage a protest during the Irreechaa New Year holiday.
Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Government forces hold back Oromo people as they stage a protest during the Irreechaa New Year holiday.
T his week the Ethiopian government released a controversial report dealing with one of the largest protests in the country’s recent history. A special commission investigated the violence that occurred during the so-called Oromo protests, which erupted in November 2015 and continued throughout much of last year. Critics have slammed the investigation for what they see as an attempt to justify a violent response that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of unarmed civilians.
The Oromo people, an ethnic group which makes up roughly one-third of the population, voiced their anger against a government they feel excludes them from the political process. Demonstrations also spread to the Amhara region where similar sentiments were prevalent. Largely led by students, the protests eventually encompassed other groups too.
Security personnel often reacted with force in a country that rarely sees insurrection, as tens of thousands of people were arrested and hundreds killed. Human Rights Watch called it the “bloodiest crackdown in a decade”. A state of emergency declared in October 2016 remains in place until today.
Critics argue the government used the report to whitewash its violent crackdown. Referring to the events at the Irreechaa festival in October 2016 - conflicting reports suggest at least 50 people died - the investigation praises the army for its restraint, only singling out a few rogue policemen for firing into crowds. The report also stresses that families and relatives of victims will not receive any legal or political compensation.
Speaking to The World Weekly, Henok G. Gabisa, an Ethiopian expert on human rights based at Washington & Lee University, questioned how the state can “be a perpetrator and adjudicator at the same time”. He dismissed the commission as illegitimate, pointing to “hand-picked politically loyal individuals” and doubted the number of deaths, which the report puts at 669 people, as “far from the truth”.
Ethiopian president, Hailemariam Desalegn, has rejected calls for an independent investigation by the UN and EU. “This is an independent country, we are able to investigate its own cases,” he told the BBC. Human Rights Watch criticised the British government, one of the biggest aid donors to Ethiopia, for not putting pressure on the government.
“We can't protest, so we pray,” one Amhara women recently told the Inter Press Service. Mr. Gabisa believes that the protests are merely on “pause” and that it is only a matter of time before they erupt again.
Kaspar Loftin
The World Weekly
20 April 2017 - last edited 5 days ago