Bodyguards Recalled by Federal Police are Staying with Me: Jawar Mohammed

By Staff Reporter

Jawar-Mohammed-BodyguardsFebruary 8, 2020 ( -- Jawar Mohammed, the controversial political activist said members of the federal police who were assigned to him as bodyguards have decided to stay with him even though they were ordered otherwise.

Jawar said he was notified by the federal police that his bodyguards would be removed to attend special training.

It is recalled that at least 86 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded in October last year in a chain of protests that happened after Jawar said the government tried to remove his bodyguards.

The violence in Oromia state that followed sent a clear message to the government that it needed to think twice before making any decision in relation to Jawar. The government reversed that decision soon thereafter, and the situation remained the same until now.

Jawar, after the violence which had involved ethnic and religious elements, said the authorities were endangering his life by removing his bodyguards.

This time around, however, all the four bodyguards have “opted to stay with me abandoning their regular jobs,” Jawar told the BBC Amharic news.

“I had a discussion with my bodyguards over the issue ahead of the latest attempt to remove them, but all the policemen said “they do not want to work as members of the federal police anymore,” Jawar said

According to Jawar, their decision to resign as members of the federal police aims at avoiding possible attacks from a third party.

“I have communicated to the police commissioner about the bodyguards decision to resign as members of the federal police. The federal police welcomed their decision but revoked their membership,” the Oromo activist said.

The bodyguards are now with me after they gave up their arms to the government. Jawar did not mention who will cover monthly payments to the bodyguards and who is arming them in their new job.

Jawar further mentioned that the federal police have removed the bodyguards of other government officials for undisclosed reasons.

Many people wonder why the government deploys members of the federal police as bodyguards of political party leaders and activists as opposed to the responsibility given to the federal police by law. In general, this was not the case in previous administrations, EPRDF governments included.

The Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP) was established in 1995 to serve the public, to ensure the observation of human and democratic rights and to maintain the safety and welfare of the public. Its stated duties are the enforcement of laws and safeguarding constitutional guarantees, the prevention, detection and investigation of crime, the coordination of national state police commissions and the development of national policing standards.

Meanwhile, the government of Ethiopia has tightened security ahead of the 33 AU Heads of States and Government summit that will start on Sunday.  The federal police said it has introduced a high tech security system during this year's AU summit.

The 36th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of ended on Friday under the theme “Silencing the guns: creating conditions for Africa’s development.”

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