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Ethiopia: Addis Ababa Police deny any death from Yeka sub-city incident

Police claims that reports covered by various media outlets about the deaths of two persons in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia, following the incident in Janmeda is “false.”

Addis Ababa _ Ethiopia
Addis Ababa near Kidist Mariam area, Arat Kilo. Photo – File /borkena

April 29, 2020

On Tuesday this week, there have been reports circulating on social media that Addis Ababa police shot two young men in Yeka sub-city, Janmeda area of  Addis Ababa. 

Addis Ababa City administration transferred, unclear if it is temporary, the city’s famous vegetable and fruit market from atikilt tera to Janmeda under the guise of preventing the Coronavirus. Some say there was a shooting in the early morning of Tuesday, April 28, 2020.  

On the other hand, Addis Ababa Police deny the killings of two young residents of the city. According to the narrative from the police, there was a stampede around 8:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday. 

Commander Solomon Gebremariam who is head of police division in the Ferensay legasion area claims that six people have sustained a light injury and one person sustained serious injury. The latter is still in the hospital, based on Police Hospital.  

The statement from the police says that there was no death from the incident. 

A picture showing leaders of Balderas For Genuine Democracy Party visiting the parents of the victims was also circulating. 

BBC Amharic report on Wednesday said that it spoke to Ato Derbush Tesfaye who is the father of one of the victims in the Janmeda incident.  

But Ato Derbush is talking about a story from April 4, 2020, and does not seem to relate to the Janmeda story. 

“On Megabit 26 [April 4], I heard a gunshot in the vicinity of the Russian Embassy around a quarter to seven o’clock in the evening. And then I was told that two young men are down in the area where there was a gunshot and that one of them was my son Abel, and the other victim was Mikias Demis[not his son].” Both are 21 years of age.

As we left home and approached the area where there was a gunshot, continues Ato Derbush, we saw security forces nearby. 

The two young men were taken to Menelik Hospital. “When we reached the hospital, I was told that Mikias passed away but my son was alive undergoing surgery, seemingly to remove the bullet from the body.” 

Abel was discharged from the hospital after three days due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Ato Derbush told BBC Amharic. And Abel has been getting home-based medical support since then. Still in bed but conscious. 

According to Derbush, it was a confrontation between Abel and someone else, whose name is unidentified, who brought a ten years old boy to a bar that escalated into a crisis that claimed one life and injured others. 

But the story gets murky there. It is unclear how security forces were involved and who killed Mikias and wounded Abel. 

Police claim that it is investigating the matter but they are not letting parents know about the circumstances under which Mikias was killed and Abel was wounded. 

BBC Amharic News said on Wednesday that it contacted Jelayn Abdi, Federal Police Communication Head, but the latter declined to remark about the incident claiming that the state of emergency legislation in the country does not allow him to do that. 

In early February 2020, security forces killed two followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the locality of 24, near St. Gabriel hospital in the capital Addis Ababa.  The Addis Ababa  City administration claimed at the time that it would investigate the incident and make public outcomes. As it turns out, the case seems to be even forgotten now. 

Repressions of the reform era in the capital

Post-TPLF Ethiopia is often portrayed as a reform era. Although Addis Ababa acting Mayor Takele Uma is getting credits for infrastructure works and social programs funded by the city (although they are in most cases made to appear like a charity work rather than dispensing responsibility that comes from power), there has been skepticism towards the Mayor’s motive. 

He is one of the executives of the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) which is now defunct after the formation of the Prosperity Party.  However, there is the understanding among Addis Ababans, even among many Ethiopians, that the old ethnic nationalist ODP is dominating the new Prosperity Party and cunningly making changes in a way to disempower the residents in pursuit of ethnic Oromo nationalist causes like, for example, claim of exclusive ethnic Oromo ownership over Addis Ababa. 

Apart from outright killings, Takele Uma’s administration has been demolishing thousands of homes on alleged grounds of “illegal settlement” for several months now. Oromo regional state, under ODP, has been demolishing houses in the outskirts of Addis Ababa on similar alleged grounds.  

In the past three weeks alone, as the media was dominated by Coronavirus disease Takele Uma’s leadership has been demolishing houses reducing thousands to homelessness – as confirmed by Amnesty International

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  1. The Addis Ababa police is infiltrated by the Oromia police department . The Oromia police department is sabotaging the activities of the Addis Ababa police department step by step , once the new Oromia’s police headquarters building which is being built in Addis Ababa is finished it is planned that the Oromia police department will be the most modern police department in Africa , the Addis Ababa police department will be disolved , Addis Ababa is in a position it is now being weak and uncoordinated due to the sabotages it gets from the federal and the Oromia police in regards to the crimes that go out of control . The goal seems to be so the Addis Ababa Police department and the residents resort into relying on the Oromia police department headquarters assistance to insure their safety rather than relying on the Addis Ababa police department for their well being and protection.


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