Addis Ababa Rocked by Violence Over Flag Issue
By Staff Reporter
September 13, 2018 - Members of Ethnic Oromo have faced strong resistance from residents of Addis Ababa, largely the youth, while the former attempted to replace the Ethiopian flag with Oromo Libration Front’s (OLF) flag in some parts of the capital.
The move by member of Ethnic Oromo comes ahead of OLF’s leaders arrival next Saturday from the US and Europe, including the chairman of the front, Dawud Ibsa.
Staff reporter of Ezega.com has learned that the two groups entered into conflict after members of Ethnic Oromo youth were replacing the federal flag with OLF’s red, green and red flag all the way from Sululta town in the north to Addis Gebeya area of the metropolis.
The Oromo Youth, some of whom were carrying sticks and knives, either torn down or threw the now common Green, Yellow and Red national flag of Ethiopia which were placed along the main roads for the reception of leaders of Patriot Ginbot 7 last Sunday and raise the OLF’s flag instead.
The conflict between the two groups started at Addisu Gebya and 18 Mazoria while the youth in Addis Ababa refused the Oromo youth to repace or tear down the national flag.
Unspecified people were reportdly wounded from both sides due to the clashes and some of them have been hospitalized in Saint Paul Hospital.
Anti-riot police along with the federal and Addis Ababa police have managed to control the conflict which resulted in damages to public buses.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is quoted by Fana Broadcasting Corporate as cautioning against the use of violence instead of dialogue.
The Prime Minister deplored what he said was an attempt to incite violence under the guise of a flag. The right of freedom of expression includes displaying a flag, he said, adding “we should not marginalize political parties coming from abroad.”
“As there will be no single winner, we should cooperate with each other by resolving our differences through dialogue,” Abiy stressed.