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Command Post frames protest in light of colour revolution, reportedly arrested government officials in Oromo region

Command Post seem to have intention to crackdown Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO)
Some local administration in Harar and Wollega reportedly arrested

Command Post _ Ethiopia
Command Post Secretariat, Siraj Feregessa at the press conference today
Source : EBC

March 7,2018

Siraj Fergessa is defense minister and secretariat of the Command Post, an interim body that is administering the state of emergency, the second of its kind in less than a year, decreed on February 16.

In a press statement with state and affiliated media outlets this afternoon, he characterized the protest across the country as work of “anarchists” with an objective to take over state power through unconstitutional means. It appeared as if he was communicating the findings of the Command Post, which mostly constitutes high ranking ardent TPLF military generals.

He further added that there is no “shortcut to power” and that the intention of what he called “anarchists”, with support from “foreign powers,” is not acceptable.

Champions of “color revolution”, says Siraj, have become an obstruction, by calling for non-stop protest, for the government not to address demands from the public which the government believes are right. Protestors in different parts of Ethiopia have been calling for an end to the TPLF government and no single evidence exists that Ethiopians’ desire for change and to see an end to the 27 years old rule by TPLF is sponsored by a foreign power.

Siraj sounded like he was referring to the latest protests which brought many towns in Oromo region of Ethiopia, some of then in close proximity to the capital Addis Ababa, to a standstill. Businesses were closed. Roads to and from the capital blockaded. He admitted that transport service between Addis Ababa and Nekemete, Wellega in Western Ethiopia, is not resumed.

The Addis Ababa- Jimma road, this line meanders towards south-west Ethiopia, is also closed according to Siraj.

As well, the Command Post claimed that 17 security forces sustained “damage” without elaborating on the nature of the damage. But this is not verified from other sources. What is known in that regard is that a military veteran who is identified as Derbe Ayele and who served in the army resisted when security forces besieged his residence in Achefer, Gojjam, during night time to demand that he give up his legally registered weapon. In the ensuing shootout, he reportedly killed six security forces and finally took his own lives, as reported by Ethiopian Satellite Television. However, state media did not report about it and regional media outlets, like Amhara Mass Media Agency, are banned from reporting incidents like that.

As well, the Command Post regulation banned regional communication heads from reporting any security-related developments and incidents.

From the perspective of opposition and most Ethiopians, the latest strike in Oromo region, which mainly took a form of stay at home protest, was called in opposition to the state of emergency which was passed after the vote was rigged at the counting stage but the speaker of the house appeared later on state television to apologize that the error was his own.

According to local media sources, the Command Post started arresting heads of local administrations in Oromo region of Ethiopia. The Mayor of Nekemte and administrator in East Hararge are among arrested Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) officials.

A panel of media analysts in Ethiopian Satellite Television seem to see omens that the regime in Ethiopia has started a crackdown on OPDO, which is one of the coalition member parties with 178 seats in the Federal Parliament.

When the parliament voted on the controversial state of emergency last Friday, the “No” vote votes mostly came from OPDO followed by ANDM ( Amhara National Democratic Movement).

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