Woman and child outside a Gonder church with crosses marked in ash on their foreheads. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS
By James Jeffrey
As dawn breaks in Bahir Dar, men prepare boats beside Lake Tana to take to its island monasteries the tourists that are starting to return.
Meanwhile, traffic flows across the same bridge spanning the Blue Nile that six months ago was crossed by a huge but peaceful protest march.'They were waiting for an excuse to shoot.' -Priest in Bahir Dar
But only a mile farther the march ended in the shooting of unarmed protesters by security forces, leaving Bahir Dar stunned for months.
Events last August in the prominent Amhara cities of Bahir Dar (the region's capital) and Gonder (the former historical seat of Ethiopian rule) signalled the spreading of the original Oromo protests to Ethiopia's second most populace region.
By October 9, following further disasters and unrest, the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front party declared a six-month state of emergency, which was extended at the end of this March for another four months.
Ethiopian national flags and regional Amhara flags flutter along the bridge over the Blue Nile on the road going east from Bahir Dar that the protesters took last year. A mile on from the bridge the peaceful march descended into tragedy with shots fired into the crowd. Credit: James Jeffrey/IPS
- Written by Abdullahi
- Category: Ethiopia
- Hits: 66