Ethiopians in Washington staged demonstration to condemn government silence on abducted girls
January 28, 2020
When Abiy Ahmed met Ethiopians in three cities in the United States in July 2018, he got a hero’s welcome. Back then, people have an image of a man “who contributed immensely to end TPLF’s ruthless administration” and a leader with the potential to bring about peace and unity in Ethiopia.
That deferential attitude towards Ethiopia’s prime minister is no longer there. Instead, many Ethiopians in the diaspora are venting anger and frustration over Abiy Ahmed’s administration incompetence to enforce the rule of law and protect Ethiopians citizens.
The latest example is the abduction of 21 students of Dembi Dollo University, mostly girls, as they were returning to their parents following the closure of the university in light of security problems that targeted mainly ethnic Amhara students. They were taken from a bus somewhere along the way between Dembi Dollo and Gambella. The Federal police said on Tuesday this week that it has formed an investigative team to “determine the identity of the armed group that abducted the students and why and how it did so.” And this measure came nearly two months now.
Ethiopians in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia area took to the streets condemning Abiy Ahmed’s government over silence in connection with the abduction, which happened in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.
“We condemn the abduction of university students” and “Justice to those who are attacked by extremists” are few of the placards that protestors were carrying.
Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, Fitsum Arega, received a letter written to prime minister Abiy Ahmed. Abebe Belew, the coordinator of the protest, personally handed over the message to the Ambassador.
“We are confident that the Ambassador will hand over the letter to the prime minister,” Abebe Belew is cited as saying in the DW Amharic report.
Ambassador Fitsum discussed with protestors, and he said that he would present the message to the Ethiopian government and follow up with it.
“Why is government silent about the abduction?” and “where are the students” are the crucial questions that Ethiopians are asking.
On the same day, millions in several cities in the Amhara region of Ethiopia took to the street demanding an answer about the whereabouts of abducted students.
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