People are panicking, atmosphere unpleasant in Ethiopia: Israeli businessman

By Becca Noy

Violent clashes between protesters and security forces in two regions of Ethiopia resumed this week, prompting the Israeli Foreign Ministry to urge Israelis to avoid visiting the Oromia and Amhara regions. An Israeli in Ethiopia spoke with Channel 2 Online and described the situation in the country: “It’s really like a war movie.”

This week, violent clashes between protesters and security forces broke out in two regions in Ethiopia after dozens of people were killed in similar protests over the past few weeks. JOL reported earlier this week that in light of the renewed protests, the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a travel warning urging Israelis to avoid visiting the Oromia and Amhara regions. An Israeli who works in Ethiopia told Channel 2 Online that the security forces have increased their presence on the streets and that some of his colleagues have already left the country.

“It’s really like a war movie,” he told Channel 2 Online. “Everyone is panicking and no one knows what is going to happen. The rumors are that they want to overthrow the government. The atmosphere is unpleasant.”

According to the official reports, at least 50 people were killed in clashes between the security forces and the Oromo people. However, the Oromo tribe claims that more than 150 of its members were killed by police.

“I received a phone call from an Israeli who has a farm in the city of Bishoftu, where the protests started,” explained the Israeli who spoke to Channel 2 News. “The protesters came and wanted to burn down his farm. They told every business owner that if their business operates, they will burn it.”