Addis Ababa Police is linking resistances in schools to an imposed Oromia region flag and anthem to radical groups “who seek to make the city a center of violence “
Addis Ababa police on Thursday said that it has arrested 97 people in the capital Addis Ababa. It linked the individuals to what it calls violence in “some elementary and secondary schools.”
It said those arrested are students and teachers.
It said they removed Ethiopian and Oromia regional flags from flag posts in the schools and dragged them on the ground in contempt.
Furthermore, Addis Ababa Police claimed that the situation that led to violence in schools was instigated by some students and teachers who “confused and mobilized a majority of students who are unaware of the situation.” Properties in school compounds were damaged, it added.
Police also said that radical groups on social media used old video footage to pressure the security forces not to carry out their duty.
Police painted a different narrative (from opposition parties and the public) regarding the incidents these past weeks whereby students in many elementary and high schools across Addis Ababa protested against what they see as the imposition of the Oromia region flag and anthem on them.
It accused what it called “radical groups” of portraying the “rights of citizens to get education in their mother tongue and the right for the expression of their culture and identity as an imposition on others.” EZEMA, one of the major opposition parties in the country, said the move to impose a flag and anthem on Addis Ababa schools should stop immediately – and it is not a matter of not respecting the right to study in one’s own language.
Carrying placards that likened the Addis Ababa issue to Wolkait is another accusation that police made against what it called radical groups.
Police linked the protests to OLF Shane operatives and “other radical groups.” It said those groups made claims that “Oromos are dying, and their culture and identity humiliated.”
Adanech Abiebie, Mayor of the city, made similar claims that the incidents in schools in the capital are the works of radical groups. She also said foreign powers were involved in it.
So what the statement that the police released on Thursday essentially did is to portray the reaction of students in Addis Ababa schools as continuities of efforts by “radical groups” who attempted to Addis Ababa as a center of violence and it cited that arms have been smuggled into the city.
Regarding why it happened this past week, Police said it is because the government started to work in determination on the issue of peace and against corruption.
Some opposition parties and the majority of Ethiopians on social media are expressing that there have been attempts to impose Oromia region flags and anthems.
It is on record that what turned out to be a dominant force within the ruling Prosperity Party (when it was in the form of Oromo Democratic Party) made exclusive ownership right over Addis Ababa.
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