400 people have been killed in the Oromo protests in Ethiopiain in a week

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Rights groups and activists have said more than 400 people have been killed in the protests that took place in Ethiopia last week.

Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, rose up in protest almost a year ago when the government proposed annexing some of their land into the capital, Addis Ababa, as part of a drive to transform this largely agricultural nation into a regional manufacturing power. While the government later gave up the idea, the protests broadened into a demand for more rights and for the release of detained activists, opposition figures and journalists. The anti-government anger caught fire in other parts of the country.

The protests landed in the global spotlight when more than 50 people were crushed to death in a stampede after security forces tried to disperse protesters during a massive religious festival. The government blamed the stampede on what it called “the action of some hooligans”.

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