Students riot at Arba Minch University

“The police shot three students, arrested more than seven” eye witness  

A students’ demonstration that began at about 4Pm yesterday in Arba Minich University, located in the outskirts of Arba Minch town, 500 km south of Addis Ababa, resulted in a shooting by the region’s police force leaving three students wounded and more than five students arrested.

According to Ephrem Ali, a third year student in irrigation, the students started demonstrating inside the compound demanding for water supply and clean meal, served inside the compound for students for free.  “We came to the compound in mid October and we haven’t had running water since then,” Ephrem said, “we have repeatedly requested the university administration for water and clean food, but there was no answer for almost a month now.”

The students left the campus yesterday and were headed to the city administration when the regional police opened fire at them shooting three students who are now admitted to Arba Minch hospital.  Since last night, “police forces from the Federal government, the city administration and the region have occupied the campus and are conducting dorm-to-dorm searches,” Ephrem said.  He also added that the police were searching students whom they said have instigated religious scuffles. “There is nothing like that, all we did was to demand for running water and clean meal.”ArbaMinchUniversity logo

The normal teaching learning process is now suspended, and meal has not been served for the students since last night.

Founded in 1986 as Arba Minich Water Technology Institute, Arba Minich University is now one of the biggest universities in the country. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn served as president of the university from mid ’90s to the beginning of 2000. Located in one of chronic malaria prone regions in the country, Arba Minich University often plagued by several riots a year. It is now home to more than 16, 000 students.

Addis Standard is trying to get hold of the students’ dean office, to no avail so far.

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