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Police asked to leave makeshift shelter at cultural center

The Ethiopian National Cultural Center has appealed to the Prime Minister’s office after over 200 federal police officers came to the center and began making a temporary shelter there. Previously the police lived at a camp next to the center.
Plans are underway by the Cultural Center for constructing a building on the 34,500sqm space to display cultural artifacts of Ethiopian Nations Nationalities and Peoples.
Seble Abebe, public relations officer at the center told Capital that the police began living in the room without any approval from the appropriate government office. “A week ago the federal police came in to the center and placed six million birr worth of property in the new building’s construction site and began living there. We have told them that this is inappropriate and that the center is to promote our national culture.”
“However they have not left and have begun creating more shelters in the area, we are appealing to the PM office, the Police Commission and the Addis Ababa City Administration. We are willing to go to court if necessary.” She added that the new building will cost USD 260,000 and will allow for more space which they desperately need.
The Federal Police Commission said they will soon search for another camp and that police only stayed there because there was a shortage of places to camp.
Gezahegn Abate, Public Relations Head of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said making a shelter at the Cultural Center is completely unacceptable.
“We can’t express in words the value of police in protecting our country but we should oppose them when they are doing the wrong thing. The aim of the cultural center is to advocate our cultural dances, clothes and artifacts for the public and sheltering there is not what we expected from the police.”

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