Ambo Protesters Demand PM Abiy Ahmed Step Down

By Staff Reporter

Ambo-Protest-EthiopiaOctober 31, 2019 ( -- Thousands of people took the streets of Ambo city in Oromia state, demanding Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed step down, an hour before he arrived there amidst tight security.

The protesters demanded that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed step down while he and Defense Minister Lemma Megerssa and President of the Oromia state, Shimeles Abdissa, chaired what is called a “peace conference” in the city.

“We are the genuine Qeerroo who fought for the rights and demands of the Oromo people. Those people who are attending the conference cannot represent us, the protestors chanted as eyewitnesses told via telephone.

“Abiy can’t administer us and he was here (Ambo city) just for another cheating. The protesters chanted Down Abiy, Down Team Lemma.”

Ambo is one of the cities in Oromia State, which was hit by the latest unrest after Qeerroo leader and activist Jawar Mohammed last week claimed that security forces had risked his life.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been holding consultations with residents living in protest-hit areas as part of an effort to resolve unfolding religious and ethnic-based violence in the country.

He held discussions with residents drawn from Dire Dawa, Harar and neighboring zones, as well as with residents in violence hardest-hit Bale Robe.

The latest unrest was the first for the Prime Minister to face protest within the Oromia administration whose officials are suspected of serving Abiy’s administration only half-halfheartedly.     

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Office’s Press Secretariat has disclosed that 409 individuals allegedly involved in last week’s violence have been apprehended.

Briefing journalists on Thursday, October 31, 2019, the Head of the Press Secretariat, Nigusu Tilahun, said 78 people died in the latest unrest in more than ten towns and cities of the Oromia regional state.

The press secretariat claimed that the number of victims could have been greater had it not been for the security forces, who were deployed to calm down the situation at their full capacity.

Nigusu attributed the unrest to ethnic-based politics the nation has gone through. He said the government would take all the necessary legal measures to enforce law and order.

Meanwhile, about 60 shops were burned down in Modjo town at a place called Gebeya, about 70km southeast of Addis Ababa.

The fire was put under control after fire-fighting trucks from Addis Ababa, Adama and Bishoftu cities were deployed.

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