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Mecha and Tulema Oromo event Organized in Ambo banned hours before it happens

Mecha and Tulema Oromo association event organized in Ambo town is reportedly cancelled with order from authorities

Mecha and Tulema oromo
Ambo. Photo credit : DW Amharic

March 17, 2020

Mecha and Tulema association is one of the oldest ethnic Oromo organizations.  

Three entities, including the Association, organized a forum to take place in Ambo town on March 14, 2020. Mecha and Tulema itself was the subject to be discussed. 

But it was canceled hours before it happened. Dribi Demssie is president of the Association. 

He told VOA Amharic reporter, Nakor Melka, that the event was jointly organized by Mecha and Tulema Association, Ambo University, and Oromo Cultural center. 

The Organizers were expecting as many as one thousand participants, according to Dribi Demissie.

And they are unclear so to who ordered the discussion to be banned. Dribi consulted with the co-organizers, and he found out that Ambo City Administration permitted the event.  

VOA Amharic reporter, Nakor Melka, said the city’s security chief promised to speak about the cancellation of the event but later declined to answer his phone when the reporter reached out to him. 

Oromo regional state deputy police commissioner, Genene TIbebu, said police did not ban the event and that he did not have information about it. 

Likewise, Getachew Balch, who is Oromia regional state’s spokesperson, said he does not have information. 

Mengistu Tulu is Ambo University’s Public relations head and chairperson of the discussion.  He said he got indirect information that the discussion scheduled for Saturday was not allowed. However, it was not until Saturday ( March 14) that the organizers got information (or order)  that the event was canceled. 

Participants reportedly traveled from Addis Ababa and other places as well. They said they could have avoided the travel had they known that the event is not allowed.  Yet, again the organizers themselves were not officially informed about it. 

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