SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: November 22, 2018

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Assosa University

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Ethiopia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 22, 2018, students violently clashed at Assosa University reportedly over ethnic tensions. As a result of the violence, three students were killed and 34 were injured.

It is unclear what exactly sparked the clashes; however tensions between Ethiopia’s Oromo and Amhara ethnic communities have been rising in recent months, including on university campuses. Students were reportedly arrested in connection with the clashes.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent clashes on campus. While students have a right to express themselves, they must do so peacefully and responsibly. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such violence undermines freedom of expression, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.