State Minister Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie gave briefings to Ambassadors from Europe and the Americas on current situations in the country, particularly on the recent protests that occurred since mid-July in parts of Amhara and Oromiya Regional States at the Ministry hall on Tuesday (August 22, 2016).
Ambassador Taye shared detailed accounts on the situation of recent incidents, the causes and the cautious efforts undertaken by the Government of Ethiopia to manage the situation.
The State Minister also mentioned the immediate cause of the first protest that instigated the disturbance in Amhara Regional State at the end of the month of July and the beginning of August. By and large, State Minister Taye, said in both the Amhara and Oromia regional states, the demonstrations were made without the appropriate permission of the respective regional authorities.
The State Minister indicated though the messages and slogans were unconstitutional in nature, the demonstrations were peaceful at the beginning, but later turned violent. He mentioned the clashes between the demonstrators and law enforcing bodies in various instances caused casualties which led to the loss of life and destruction of properties where in the government decided to contain it.
The demonstrations were funneled by the satellite and social media operated by destructive forces from afar. Concerning the recent protests in Oromia region, State Minister Ambassador Taye said, although the previous unrest in Oromia Regional State was alluded to the Addis-Oromia Special Zones’ Joint Master Plan, violence continued even after the regional government had abandoned the Master Plan. The State Minister said this is a proof that the unrest that followed had nothing to do with the Master Plan.
State Minister Taye Astke-Selassie further elaborated the situation saying there were actually subjective and objective reasons for the protests, which he said were legitimate concerns that include enormous lack of good governance and failure to cater public concerns as quickly as possible, questions related to creating consensus and awareness with regard to federal constitutional arrangements, lack of employment opportunities, and also lack of service delivery which has been created due to the wide expectations the development has brought about.
Amid these conditions, he said, the concerns of the demonstrations were manipulated by those waiting quietly to further their extremist agenda. Ambassador Taye further shared updates about the on-going government efforts in response to the situations. He said the government is conducting a series of discussions and intensive engagement with various segments of the population, youth, rural community, religious community, political parties and others.
He further noted lessons will be learned from the situations, adding: “it’s a period of awakening from the Ethiopian polite” to peruse the country’s transformations in an upgraded momentum. The State Minister underlined the public is showing concern to put issues on the table and solve them through legitimate channel via debates and discussions. (MFA)