Kenyan police have arrested 40 members of the Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, for holding an illegal meeting in the capital Nairobi.
Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome said the Oromos were arrested on Sunday evening as they were planning to protest against the Ethiopian government.
“The 40 Oromos had assembled at the City Park in Nairobi without notifying the police. We are interrogating them,” Koome said Monday, adding that they would be charged in court for illegal assembly.
The police said some of those arrested were in the country illegally and could be deported by court after the scrutiny of their documents.
The arrest came hours after a celebration in Ethiopia turned into a stampede that reportedly left at least 50 people dead as police dispersed a crowd at an annual cultural festival of the Oromo people.
It took place in one of Ethiopia’s most sensitive regions, Oromia, which has seen several months of protests by Oromos demanding wider freedoms. The protests were initially sparked by a land row and have been turning more broadly against the government.