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A strike has been taking place in parts of Oromia region starting from Wednesday August 23. Contradictory reports are coming from activists from social media and the Oromia Region Communication Bureau showing pictures of various places around the region to substantiate their claims.
The protests are reportedly against a recent hike in tax for businesses and the imprisonment of opposition politicians.
The Canadian government on Wednesday issued a safety and security alert for Ethiopia, citing clashes in parts of the country. They subsequently urged citizens to exercise caution.
“There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Ethiopia. However, you [Canadians] should exercise a high degree of caution due to the volatile security situation,” reads the alert citing incidents on the road between Harar and Dire Dawa, and between Holeta and Ambo, on August 23.
In related news, a bomb explosion in the town of Jimma, located in Ethiopia’s Oromia region has injured about 13 people, local media portals have reported.
The town’s police commander, Inspector Fadil Mohammed, also confirmed the incident.
The state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported that the injured people were receiving treatment at a specialized referral hospital. Among them were a 10-year-old boy and two women.
The attack comes on the second day of a so named ‘five-day stay-at-home strike’ called by opposition activists. The incident is said to have occurred in a busy part of the town.
The strike, which is largely being observed, is to demand the release of political prisoners detained during the state-of-emergency rule. Ethiopia imposed the rule in the wake of spreading anti-government protests, particularly in the Amhara and Oromia regions.
People in the region have previously staged a shutdown to protest tax hikes by the government. Police confirmed that they are on a manhunt for the attacker.
Aside from closed businesses, the BBC reports that road blocks have been mounted in parts of the region, affecting public transport.