By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said here today that to maintain peace in Addis Ababa, the city dwellers should work in coordination with the security forces. The Premier said this during his reaction to the queries forwarded by MPs. Barring gates of Addis Ababa against citizens who are coming from Amhara Region was among the questions forwarded to him on the occasion. In his response, the Premier said that people have freedom of movement, but “we should work to realize” this right.
The Prime Minister spoke of what he called internal forces that are thinking of turning Addis Ababa into a center of violence and seizing power. However, several activities have been carried out to defend these forces, according to him. Abiy said that these forces pay allowances in a bid to infiltrate people into Addis Ababa during anniversaries. “Coordinated works will be done to protect this and to learn from the past so as not to harm innocents,” he said.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has given detailed responses and explanations to various questions raised by Representatives of the House on national, economic, social and current trends.
In his reactions to queries related to peace, the premier said that the present day peace is much better than the previous one experienced some six months back. “The cessation of war has pushed us a step forward. However, to have complete peace, several works are expected from us,” he said.
“Ceasefire won’t be effective for the prevalence of immediate peace. The aftermath of trauma will not heal soon. As there are citizens who always beat the drums of war, it is hardly possible to think of the existence of peace.”
The premier said in his responses that there have long been reflected conspiracy and power politics. “What we need, however, are peaceful and apologetic ways. Courage is of paramount importance to bring about peace, which needs maximum efforts like war.”
Abiy also touched on works of the media. He said among other things that the people should select what they should tune in. “Audiences are responsible to determine which media they should tune in. It is not necessary to tune in a given channel for the sake of listening. Freedom of expression should not be [exercised] as far as it has caused conflicts among citizens. The media should be responsible and sensible while disseminating information,” he said.
The Premier has also dealt with issues related to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA or commonly known as shene). He said that the Federal Government has made 10 attempts to negotiate with OLA. “The government has entered into actions by establishing a committee. However, the previous negotiation was not successful as OLA’s forces were located in a scattered manner.” Abiy said that his government has a firm desire to resolve issues with OLA peacefully. Earlier the Oromia Region was said to come up with the decision of negotiation with OLA. However, the premier said that it was rather the determination of the Federal Government to come up with the issue.
Abiy said regarding the economy that the inflation occurring within two or three months is not as worse as it has been talked of. “We hope this can be settled through boosting supply and the improvement of situations,” he said.
The Premier said, “there is no single dollar taken as a commercial loan” over the past five years. “However, we settled 1.7 billion USD surpassing the loan,” he said.
He also said that internal and imported inflation, infrastructural problems to harmonize both production and supply including the wide gap witnessed between the need and supply have affected the economy by large. The other causes for the slowdown of the economy is the incompatibility of producers and consumers including war and drought as external causes. He also touched on the slowdown of international loan and aid needed for the country to support war and drought impacts.
Working on supply and production in particular will be a solution for this, according to the Premier. “As the government allocated 59 percent of the budget for poverty reduction, this can be used to improve the situation,” he said.
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