Addis Ababa Baladera Council Cancels Planned Demonstration

By Staff Reporter

Eskinder-NegaOctober 13, 2019 ( -- The demonstration scheduled for Sunday October 13, 2019 to protest ownership claim by Oromo politicians over Addis Ababa has been called off.

Eskinder Nega, the leader of the Baladera Council, was quoted as saying that “the council called off the demonstration for two reasons: the first being not to go against law and order and second was to stop the arrest against members of the council.”

He said the council had got permission to stage the demonstration, but lately it was told the demonstrators would not get any protection from the police.” Hence, we have cancelled off the rally,” he said.

Earlier the council said a formal request for permission was submitted to the relevant authorities of Addis Ababa City Administration, the Peaceful Demonstration and Meetings Division of the city. The city government was indifferent to the request of the council, the organizers said.

He further disclosed that council members who were organizing the planned demonstration were arrested but did not mention how many members were apprehended.

Eskinder also disclosed the council would take measures step by step until the voices of residents in Addis Ababa which his organization represents are heard.

Meanwhile, passengers who were going from Debre Birhan and other towns north of Addis Ababa were denied access to Addis Ababa as the road leading to the capital was closed at Sendafa town.

Some of the passenger whom Ezega spoke said the road was closed by ethnic Oromo youth otherwise known as “Qeerroo,” who selectively banned those passengers who do not speak Oromiffa.

The closure of the road angered residents of Debre Birhan who staged spontaneous demonstration, calling the federal government to take measures against those groups affecting peaceful movement of the people.

Similarly, road to Bahir Bar and other places of Amhara regional state were closed to, what many claimed was, “halt the inflow of the council’s fans that were anticipated to be part of the demonstration.”

On Friday, October 11, 2019, the Addis Ababa Baladera Council had called the demonstration for Sunday, October 13, 2019, to protest ownership claim by Oromo politicians over Addis Ababa and the ongoing suppression on members of civic associations and political parties. On Saturday, Addis Ababa police issued a statement that no demonstration will be held on Meskle Square.

Meanwhile, rallies have been held in several towns of Oromia to express delight and support the award of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Tens of thousands of people took the streets of Ambo, Fiche, Buno, Jimma, and Negele Borena towns and expressed their happiness over of the Prime Minister’s achievement and condemned those forces that are creating havoc in the name of Oromo people.

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