Nationwide protests took place in Ethiopia on August 6th, against the countries Tigray regime. According to reports, hundreds of people were killed and thousands were arrested – including hundreds of children. Members of #OpEthiopia were live on the ground at these protests, here is what they forwarded to AnonHQ News.
As reported by AnonETH:
“To All around the world: Amhara & Oromia Innocent Peoples are under attack!
Once again, Gondar Amhara and all over Oromia is under attack from the terrorist Tigray regime. It is pure genocide. The regime soldiers have been killing our people the whole day. Death tolls are increasing alarmingly. Hundreds of youths are taken to unknown places.
Let’s expose this massacre to the international community and journalists urgently. Protect our people from such vicious attacks. We need to bring a permanent solution to our people.”
— 125 (@Mpengwe) August 6, 2016
Protesters remain defiant despite facing military force that has been killing them with impunity.#OromoProtests pic.twitter.com/gWsXqCm3V3— 125 (@Mpengwe) August 6, 2016
According to reports by AfricanArguments.org, hundreds of thousands of people are believe to have participated in planned protests throughout 50 cities across Ethiopia. It was falsely labeled a ‘national day of rage’ by the corrupt propagandist government media, in an attempt to make the people appear extreme and therefore, discredited. However, the true origin of the event was to protest and speak out against the continued human rights abuses by the Ethiopian government – the same abuses witnessed in the videos above.
The protests today were a continuation of the Oromo protests of 2015-2016. Starting last fall, Oromo activists, the nation’s largest ethnic majority, began holding regular demonstrations against the government, hoping to empower the people and raise awareness about a social revolution. These protestors were met head on by government police and over the period of four months, from November 12th, 2015 to February 23rd, 2016 – according to Human Rights Watch – over 1,500 people were seriously injured; over 5,000 people were arrested, being held without charges; and at least 200 people were killed.
The situation in Ethiopia is made worse by the fact that the country shares borders with Sudan, Kenya and Somalia. At the present moment, Sudan is on the verge of another civil war; over the last several weeks hundreds of people have been killed. 12,000 United Nations peacekeeping troops haven’t even been enough to stave off the violence. Though temporary cease fires have been negotiated, just today Sudan asked for more international troops to re-enforce the UN troops already stationed here.
Though Kenya remains a global humanitarian leader, the country is not without its own internal turmoil. Since the country takes in refugees from several war torn countries, violence and murders have sky rocketed and as a result of this, Kenya is actively in the process of shutting down the world largest refugee camp. Meanwhile in Somalia, the nation finds itself front and center of an international proxy war, a victim of the dark side of international arms trade. The Islamic State is quickly building its presence here, all the while the United States is pouring weapons into the country, in attempts to fight them off.
Back to the state of affairs in Ethiopia, if you weren’t aware: being a political activist is essentially illegal. You can be arrested, even killed, simply for speaking out against the government in public and needless to say, the country does not have freedom of the press. Any information the citizens of Ethiopia receive is strictly regulated by the government.
For this very reason, over the same time these protests were occurring last winter, Anonymous was working hand in hand with the political activists in Ethiopia. Since there is no free press and activists could be arrested for coordinating in public, Ethiopians took to the Internet and reached out for support.
It wasn’t easy, for example, simply owning or distributing the Tor Network – in Ethiopia it is punishable by law. Despite their limitations, activists found their way to Anonymous and starting around mid-December, #OpEthiopia was officially launched.
At the time we were operating servers off Chat-box service and we started by setting up a secure, private server, which could only be accessed though a direct invite. The only way to get in was by someone who was already in, with the server specifically dedicated to host activists in Ethiopia so that they could coordinate with one another – outside the prying eyes of their government.
Not only were they able to coordinate protests, share information and gather in safety, but we also used the chat to instruct and educate people how to secure their computers, hide their identities and operate through proxies to bypass government restrictions/surveillance.
After the events of today, #OpEthiopia has been re-engaged.
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