UNDSS internal memo regarding the situation in East Shawa & West Arsi

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Please find below message from UNDSS.

UNDSS: CLASHES IN EAST SHEWAS – WEST ARSI / OROMIYA

At least two protesters and five police officers were killed in the latest clashes in East Shewa, Oromiya.

First reports of protests date back from 8 February in the village of Amaro. Yesterday, a UN road mission was blocked by heavy clashes in Aje. In nearby Loke Kecha a bridge was destroyed and in Siraro a court office was damaged.

The town of Shashamane on the main road is tense and people fear violent protests could spread to their town.

The cancellation of the Addis Ababa Masterplan has not removed the underlying grievances that lead to the protests in Oromiya between November 2015 and Jan 2016. The volatility continues and one event or overreaction of police officers can trigger chains of retribution by angry protesters.

We currently recommend to avoid any private road travel any further south than Langano Lake. For official UN road missions please check situation with local counterparts. However, when planning road missions bear in mind that reliable real time situational information is not available. Police will usually block roads to protest sites and you should know the return time or nearest safe havens for your road trip when you are blocked from continuing your travel.

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