An Anti-war peaceful demonstration that was scheduled for December 10 in Addis Ababa and various Ethiopian cities has reportedly been postponed, with the new date yet to be disclosed.
The organizing committee convened a press conference in Addis Ababa on Friday to clarify the circumstances behind the cancellation of the event.
The Ethiopian government detained four coordinators of the demonstration on Thursday and promptly issued a statement alleging the thwarting of a “terrorist plot to incite unrest and violence in Addis Ababa” on the same day. Government also framed the peaceful demonstration as a “cover for terrorist ” activity. The organizers attributed the postponement to these developments during the press conference.
Citing negative actions by the government intended to impede the peaceful demonstration, the committee referred to a statement released on Thursday by the “Joint Security Task Force.” This statement claimed to have disrupted plans of certain groups tasked with instigating violence and turmoil in Addis Ababa.
The government’s announcement of the arrest of 97 individuals in an abrupt crackdown in Addis Ababa linked them to Fano Forces in the Amhara region and OLF Shene forces in the Oromo region of Ethiopia. News reports from local sources suggest a massive crackdown targeting youth groups in specific neighborhoods in the capital, hinting that the actual number of arrests could be significantly higher.
DW Amharic reported that the Anti-war peaceful demonstration’s organizing committee emphasized that conflicts in Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia regions have resulted in rape, deaths, displacement, and property destruction. The committee expressed that these conflicts exacerbated complex situations in the country and could potentially lead to pointless disintegration.
While the Ethiopian constitution allows peaceful demonstrations, organizers must notify the relevant government authority 48 hours before the event, allowing for necessary security arrangements. The Anti-War peaceful demonstration committee notified the government 12 days prior to the event, as reported by borkena earlier this week. However, the government prohibited the event, citing alleged “security concerns in the capital within the context of the country’s situation.” Yesterday, the government shifted the narrative, associating the Anti-War peaceful demonstration’s activities with a terrorist plot to foment violence and turmoil in Addis Ababa. Four organizers were apprehended on Thursday, with reports suggesting they were transferred to Awash Arba, known for its harsh prison conditions.
The committee did not specify the new date for the event’s postponement but mentioned it would be for a “limited time.” The peaceful demonstration aimed to advocate for an immediate cessation of conflicts in various Ethiopian regions and urged the government to seek resolution through peaceful negotiations.
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