Burayu, 23 km west of Addis Abeba, was deserted for the third day today
Addis Abeba, March 07/2018 – Presenting the first report since the national parliament legislated the controversial state of emergency, Siraj Fegessa, the defense minister and chairman of the command post established to oversee the implementation of the emergency rule, said that some of the protests that flared up in various parts of the country were taking the form of “color revolution”due to the tendency of “attempts to seize state power by some actors” who are instigating the protests.
Speaking at a presser this afternoon, the defense minister also said security forces dispatched to enforce the decree have sustained violent push backs in various places that included confiscations of their weaponry and physical harm. Seventeen security forces were hurt so far, according to Siraj. He also said several areas have witnessed property damages including looting, breaking ins and torching of government offices – particularly Woreda and Kebele offices – as well as burning of public buses and government vehicles. Four vehicles were torched beyond repair and ten vehicles, including public buses, were destroyed in various places.
Siraj’s presser came on the third and last day of Oromia-wide strike called by online activists to protest against the state of emergency. Scores of businesses, civil service offices and schools have been shuttered in many parts of the regional state since Monday morning. Transport services connecting the capital Addis Abeba to various places in the region have also been affected due mainly to road blockages. Siraj said from 80% to 90% of the blockages were already cleared but roads leading from the capital to Nekemt and Assosa in western Ethiopia remained closed and the work to clear the road from Addis Abeba to Jimma via Woliso was ongoing. He blamed the online activists as ‘anarchists’ who want to violently seize state power. According to him, some of the boycotts were happening because citizens were scared for their security.