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Ethiopian Prime Minister considers legal route to address violent unrest in universities

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed warned that his government would take legal measures against students who are inciting violence on university grounds.

His remark comes after ethnic clashes occurred in at least six universities in different parts of the country.

He was speaking at a relevant meeting on Saturday, 16 November 2019, on possible solutions to resolve ongoing ethnic-based clashes in universities. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also said the government would shut down universities if they continue to be grounds for ethnic-based clashes. Abiy urged the leadership of the universities to take administrative measures against those students involved in creating chaos in the university grounds.

“You don’t need to negotiate. You have to take administrative measures on those students who are there to incite violence in the universities after legal procedures are followed,” he said.

He blamed a third party for violence happening in the university grounds. 

“The violence in university grounds are sponsored by some group of people who have hidden political agendas,” he said.

The premier advised the universities to fix CCTV cameras in their respective university compounds so that they can locate places where the violence happens and the students who incited the violence.

The premier warned that universities will be shut down if leadership at all levels and the community fail to bring stability to the institutions.

The premier also stressed the need for the university administrations to introduce an electronic fingerprint system to identify their students, as part of an effort to deter violent activities on campus. 

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