Federal forces deployed to quell unrest in Oromia
In the wake of protests which resulted in the death of dozens of civilians in the Oromia Regional State, Harari and Dire Dawa City Administration, the national army has been deployed to stop the instability and bring calm to regions, The Reporter has learnt.
The Ministry of Defense said that the army, including other federal security forces has been deployed to the aforementioned two autonomous regional states and the city administrations which were largely affected by this week’s protests, which turned into a gruesome violence.
In this regard, the army has been deployed to Ambo, Bishoftu, Bale Robe, Mojo, Adama, Dire Dawa, and Harar city.
“Upon a request from the regional government to the federal government, federal security forces will be deployed and are ordered to stop the instability in a short time and bring about calm,” said the spokesperson of the army, Major General Mohammed Tessema. From these forces, one is the Ministry of Defense. In this regard, the ministry has passed an order to the army.
“The army is working to calm the situation in collaboration with elders, and regional security officers,” he said. “Once the situation in these areas starts to stabilize, the army will go back to its camp and focus on its other tasks,” he said.
The latest protests came days after the first popular protest against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) was held since he came to power back in April 2018.
The incident began following activist and media director, Jawar Mohammed’s social media post around midnight, on Tuesday. In his post, Jawar has said that his house was surrounded by police offices and that they tried to withdraw his security guards from their posts. His VIP security detail was assigned to him by the government once he arrived from the US.
Following this, his followers rushed to his house in Addis, and offered the media mogul their protection, whereas in most parts of Oromia, public protests have erupted and properties were destroyed.
Towns like Ambo, which was a hotbed for public protests against the former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s administration, saw similar protests this week. In addition, similar protests also took place in Jimma, Shashemene, Dodola, Bale Robe, Adame as well as Harar.
Furthermore, according to social media posts, in some towns of East Harerge such as Deder, the newly released book of PM Abiy Medemer was seen burning on the streets.
The unprecedented protest against the administration was the first real test to Abiy’s young administration. More surprisingly, the protest came about just weeks after he had received the Nobel Peace Prize and launched his book medemer at a lavish ceremony held inside the Millennium Hall.
The protests, so far, has left dozens of civilians killed, many injured and properties destroyed.
Following the protest, contradictory statements were given by government officials at various capacities; whereas PM Abiy, who was in Russia for the Russia-Africa Summit did not say anything about the protests, until press time.
Endeshaw Tasew, Commissioner of the Federal Force, said that no attempt was made to take measures against Jawar by the government or the police” but was a simple and routine procedure of layoff a VIP protection detail from guarding the well-known activist based on the decision taken by the government.”
Contrary to this, head of the Oromia Regional State, Shimelis Adugna, having condemning the act, which took place around midnight on Tuesday, called for an investigation in to the matter and said that, what happened to Jawar was “a mistake”.
After days of protest, elders, political leaders, and Jawar himself called for calm which brought relative peace in most parts of Oromia. Yet, in Dire Dawa things are far from stable, where, according to a local source, one man was found dead on Friday.