Arrests take place after recent unrest

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

Four hundred and nine people have been arrested in connection with violence which took the lives of 78 people last week largely in the Oromia region. Although not limited to these cities, places like Dire Dawa and Harrar saw massive property damage and civilian casualties after a Facebook post by Jawar Mohammed concerning removal of his security team.
The Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, Nigussu Tilahun, said there would have been more fatalities if some social groups hand not worked to calm the situation down.
Many of the attacks were based on ethnic and religious identity. Nigussu said the government acted immediately to control the situation.
Anarchy was observed in the violations, according to Nigussu. He said it may seem the government does not have the capacity to control problems. “The government has the capacity but instead prefers to be tolerant instead of prosecuting people like was done in previous times.” We have observed attempts to create disparity between groups of people. This problem is best solved by using wisdom by including elders, religious leaders and influential social groups.
The Press Secretary criticized the involvement of non patricians in the ruling coalition agenda. “The coalition issue is an internal issue and no one can give guidance for its strategy and operation,” he added. The coalition that has four ethnic based parties is working to create a single party by including five regional based ethnic parties that were considered supporters of the ruling collation, EPRDF.
The formation of single party has been a long term goal and the Mekele EPRDF congress agreed to undertake study stressing that the Hawassa congress that held after the assignment of Abiy Ahmed as chair of the coalition.