Ethiopia blames foreign hands for stoking unrest

Ethiopia blames foreign hands for stoking unrest

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Ethiopia on Monday that foreign elements were arming, training and financing groups that it blames for a wave of unrest in regions around Addis Ababa, where protesters have targeted factories and accused the government land grabs.

Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016.
Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016.

“There are countries which are directly involved in arming, financing and training these elements,” government spokesman Getachew Reda told a news conference after Sunday’s declaration of a state of emergency.

He named Eritrea, which has a long-running border dispute with Ethiopia, and Egypt, which is embroiled in a row with Addis Ababa over sharing Nile waters, as sources of backing for “armed gangs”. However, he said it could be elements who do not have formal government support acting rather than “state actors”.

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