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 12, 2019

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Dembi Dollo University

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Ethiopia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 12, 2019, ethnic tensions reportedly led to violent clashes among students on the campus of Dembi Dollo University. One student was killed as a result.

What sparked the clashes is unclear. However, violent clashes, apparently driven by tensions between members of the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups have erupted on a number of Ethiopian university campuses recently. Several universities have reportedly been sites of ethnic violence. The November 12 clashes occurred near a cafeteria on the Dembi Dollo campus; a third year student was reportedly stabbed and admitted to the hospital, where he died. The violence reportedly prompted dozens of students to leave campus.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent, apparently ethnic clashes on campus. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such actions erode equitable access, and undermine freedom of expression, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.