Ethiopian Security Bans Baladera Council Press Conference in Addis Ababa
March 31, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- Press conference organized by activist Eskinder Nega was prevented from taking place by Ethiopian security forces, according a report from DW Amharic service.
According to the report, Eskinder Nega and other members of what is called Baladera Council were scheduled to brief journalists today at the Ras Hotel in Addis Ababa.
However, when journalists arrived at the scene at 9:30 am local time on Saturday, they were informed by Ethiopian security police that the meeting is not allowed to take place.
Journalists from DW and other observed some argument between the organizers and the police.
Members of the police who disbanded the planned meeting said their orders came from higher up, according to the DW report.
One member of the Baladera Council is said to have commented that "we have seen this for the last 20 years."
Eskinder Nega on his part said he doen't want to say much at this point, but disclosed that the planned meeting was prevented from taking place by orders from higher authorities.
Eskinder Nega and his supporters established the Baladera Council to organize on issues affecting Addis Ababa to counter alleged move by people in power, who claim special interest on the capital, which is understood by many as ethnic Oromo ownership of Addis Ababa city.
Most Ethiopians believe Addis Ababa is not only a city for all Ethiopians, but also for Africa, as a seat of the African Union (AU).
The Baladera Council held high profile rallies recently, protesting perceived moves by city, state and federal authorities that put the status of Addis Ababa in question.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Chief Administrator of Oromia region, Lemma Megersa, vehemently deny that they have ulterior motives on Addis Ababa.
In his recent press conference, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed talked about his view regarding his position on Addis Ababa, which to some sounded ambiguous. He also warned that his government will take action against illegal activities challenging authorities.