As radical ethnic nationalists groups continue to assert ownership of Addis Ababa, Baladera council is organizing a demonstration for Sunday. Relevant body of the City’s Administration is notified in a formal letter but did not respond to it yet.
October 11, 2019
Baladera Council, a group advocating for the rights of Addis Ababa residents, has called a huge demonstration to be held at Meskel Square in the Ethiopian capital on October 13, 2019.
The council had a press conference in its office on Friday morning, according to a report by VOA Amharic Service.
A formal request for permission is submitted to the relevant division of Addis Ababa City Administration, to be exact to the Peaceful Demonstration and Meetings Division of the city. However, the city has not replied so far.
Organizers have told journalists during a press conference that the demonstration will not take place if the government is not permitting it.
However, if the government is not formally denying permission, organizers consider it as a form of recognition and they will go ahead with the demonstration. And they expect the police to show to ensure security.
As Baladera Council was holding its press conference from its office in the capital Addis Ababa, a group of young Oromo language speakers was protesting outside of the Baladera Council office, according to VOA Amharic. But no incident is reported as police were deployed to the area before and after the press conference.
Remarking on those who were protesting from the outside Leader of the Baladera council, Eskinder Nega, said “By the way, they have a right to express their views too… and we have no bad feelings about it. All we ask is that their protest to be peaceful”
Pictures of Baladera council mobilizing residents in Addis Ababa on circulated on Facebook on Friday.
Henok Aklilku, a member of the advocacy group, is cited as saying that all Ethiopians irrespective of ethnicity, religious, ideological or political differences to join the demonstration at Meskel Square and add voices for freedom and democracy.
What is the purpose of the demonstration?
Baladera Council believes that questions of justice and democracy for which Ethiopians paid immense sacrifice is hijacked by radicals (seemingly ethnic nationalists) from within the ruling coalition and outside of it. So, one of the purposes of demonstration is to oppose the trend, and call upon the ruling coalition to redress the issue.
The release of Ethiopians who are thrown to jail because of the views they hold and their political conviction is another issue that necessitated the rights movement and a protest.
It will also oppose the violation of rights in the city by groups and individuals who claim to have a special right and privilege over the city of Addis Ababa.
It is to be recalled that radical ethic Ormo nationalists parties and the dominant party in the ruling coalition – Oromo Democratic Party have officially claimed ownership right over Addis Ababa – a city more than 85 percent of its residents are not ethnic Oromo.
Addis Ababa City administration is not elected one currently and the mayor, Takele Uma who is a member of Oromo Democratic Party central committee, was appointed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed against bylaws of the city.
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