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: March 13, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Addis Ababa University

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Ethiopia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On March 13, 2022, violent clashes between students reportedly broke out on the Sidist Kilo campus of Addis Ababa University, amid a week of tensions over the distribution of materials that allegedly reflected “hatred toward ethnic Oromos.”

Sources indicate that an unspecified number of students were injured during the clashes. State security forces arrested as many as eight individuals in connection with the clashes; Voice of America reported them as being former students. On Twitter, the account Amhara Youth Association circulated a video of what they purport were police opening fire on members of the amhara ethnic group and reported that police raided dorms where they further arrested students; SAR has not confirmed this.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about campus violence stemming from ethnic tensions. Students and other civilians are reminded to refrain from physical violence on campus and to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly peacefully and responsibly. State and higher education officials should take steps to prevent campus violence, including by promoting peaceful dialogue and understanding. Violent campus clashes undermine academic freedom and campus integrity.