Protest over decision to award Bademe to Eritrea in the capital cancelled

Mekelle Protest
Picture from Mekelle Protest
Source : Social Media

June 17,2018

An opposition protest against EPRDF government decision which was planned to take place in the capital Addis Ababa for today is cancelled.

It was allegedly called for by members of Irob community, a minority ethnic group in northern Tigray. They are concerned that decision to hand over Bademe area to Eritrean government will halve their community and leave them separated in two different countries.

Not much is known as to why it was cancelled after the protest was allowed by the authorities in Addis Ababa.

Pro-TPLF online news source, Horn Affairs, seem to claim that cancellation of the protest has something to do with campaigns against it :

“The protest rally was cancelled after several government affiliated social media users and self-proclaimed supporters of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed campaigned against it.”

On the other hand protest took place yesterday in Mekelle, seat of Tigray regional state, as planned. There was another protest in Adigrat last week. Demonstrators condemned Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) executive committee decision to fully accept and implement the Algiers Peace Agreement which ended,in December 2000, the two years devastating war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. If the agreement is fully implemented, as the ruling party says, the town of Bademe – which allegedly caused the war – will be ceded to Eritrea.

It was the late Meles Zenawi, then chairman of the ruling coalition and of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who signed the Algiers agreement . But in what seem to be a deliberate move to avoid public anger, his administration lied to the public that the boundary commission, which was established as part of the agreement, decided to give the town of Badme and its environs to Ethiopia, which was not the case.

This week, TPLF, the very same party, issued a statement accusing the ruling coalition of disclosing the recent decision to public before it is discussed at different levels within and outside of the ruling coalition.

More than 80,000 solders are believed to have died in the two years border conflict. Despite soaring popularity, Abiy Ahmed’s party decision to give Badme to Eritrea is opposed even in other parts of Ethiopia.

The government of Eritrea has not officially responded to the offer so far and it is rumored that the situation has caused the authorities in Ethiopian government to change their mind.

Eritrea’s position rather seem to be that Ethiopia has to withdraw its troops from Badme area before any talks.

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