Ethiopia soldiers who marched on palace wanted to abort reforms – PM
Addis Ababa, October 18, 2018,(AltAfrica) – When hundreds of soldiers from Ethiopian army’s elite unit marched with arms to the National Palace, they were said to be demanding pay rise and better service conditions.
They were disarmed and invited to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who gave them assurances that their grievances were going to be looked into.
A week on, PM Abiy has told lawmakers that the soldiers were part of elements that are against ongoing political reforms. The 42-year-old former soldier said he had managed to defuse the situation and to prevent it from becoming dangerous.
Abiy was widely reported as ordering the soldiers to do press-ups which he joined in,despite it being a reprimand for the soldiers who are said to have used the wrong procedure to protest.
They have since apologized whiles state-owned FBC reported over the weekend that a number of officers had been arrested for their respective roles to the spectacle.
Abiy told lawmakers that even though photos showed all happy situation after he met the soldiers, “inside I was very unhappy.”
“The situation was brought under control, some forces, were heard saying that ‘he escaped before we could kill him’. So, we should not see the situation lightly,” he added.
This becomes the second known attempt on his life. In June this year, bombs went off during a pro-government rally at the Meskel Square in Addis Ababa.
This afternoon, HE PM Abiy Ahmed addressed some members of the Ethiopian Defence Forces stationed in and around Addis Ababa, who came to the Office of the Prime Minister to express grievances related to pay and other benefits they receive during periods of deployment. #Ethiopia
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) October 10, 2018