Just days after a new regulation by National Security Council that banned peaceful demonstration across Ethiopia on alleged grounds of security, Ethiopian authorities granted Eritrean refugees in the capital Addis Ababa a permission to protest the government in Eritrea this morning.
As many as two hundred and fifty protesters marched in the streets of Addis Ababa heading to the African Union. They opposed what they call political and religious persecution in Eritrea. Thousands of Eritrean refugees live in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian political commentators blame Ethiopian government for restricting constitutional rights of Ethiopians citizens to organize peaceful demonstration on flimsy grounds of “security” while allowing ( even mobilizing, according to some observers) Eritreans in Ethiopia to protest against their government.
Ethiopia and Eritrea have been a state of no-peace-no-war relation except occasional skirmishes but both countries have been engaged in a proxy political opposition.
A National Security Council document leaked to the media this week indicates that the government in Ethiopia thinks that the protest that is going on in Ethiopia is coordinated by president Isayas Afeworki’s administration.
Likewise, the Ethiopian government supports Eritrean opposition groups based in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
A few weeks ago Asmara witnessed what many pro-government observers say is a minor protest over government decision to ban religious schools in Eritrea. Government believes that all schools should be public schools with no religious affiliations.
The United Nations Security Council extended sanction extended sanction regime on Eritrea when it adopted Resolution 2385 this week despite no conclusive evidence is found that the government in Eritrea supports Islamic militants in Somalia.
On the other hand, Bloomberg reported on Sunday,citing United Nations, that Eritrea got military assistance from United Arab Emirates and “Russian, Czech and Italian companies in the past year, assistance that would violate a United Nations arms embargo on the Horn of Africa country, the organization’s investigators said.”
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