Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has warned that the government will take “decisive action” to prevent a secessionist movement from growing in its Oromia region, state television reports.
Mr Hailemariam said “destructive forces”, backed by neighbouring Eritrea, had launched an armed campaign to promote the region’s secession, ambushing security forces and burning government property.
“The people have understood that these destructive forces are on a mission to subvert the system and change the government,” he is quoted as saying.
“The government has realised that there is need to take a decisive action based on law,” he added.
On Monday, a leading campaign group, Human Rights Watch, said activists had reported that about 200 people had been killed by security forces in Oromia since November.
The protests were mostly peacefully, it said.