By Bileh Jelan @BilehJelan
Addis Abeba, May 11, 2021 – The organizers of the ‘Grand Ethiopian Street Iftar 2021’, an event that was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday May 9, 2021 and was violently dispersed by security forces, announced on social media that the event will be held today Tuesday May 11. 2021. The announcement that was released yesterday read, “The Grand Ethiopian Street Iftar will be held Tomorrow May 11, 2021 and the location of the event will stretch from Mexico Square to Bambis Supermarket area.”
The announcement, after detailing the location and time of the event, provided guidelines for event attendees to follow. It read, “The aim of this great event is to share the Iftar meal and prayer and this will be achieved by following two instructions. First we call on every attendee to sue for peace, cooperate with security forces and follow Covid-19 preventive measures. Second and last nothing outside the Official flag of the country is allowed, any signs or materials that contain offensive and provocative sentiments are not allowed as well.”
Prominent Muslim clerics who responded by issuing a statement after the unfolding if Sundya’s events welcomed the move by the city administration to permit the holding of the event. Ustaz Abubeker Ahmed issued a statement in which he thanked the city administration under the leadership of deputy mayor Adanech Abiebie and said, “We agreed to hold the event on May 11 and we agreed it will be a city-wide Iftar program which is way better than before.” He explained, “We discussed in detail the structural gaps and suggested a mechanism where such problems are solved in a swift manner.” Ustaz Abubeker concluded his statement by thanking the organizers and everyone who helped in making the event possible, explaining that the event is aimed at promoting peace, unity and equality and urging participants to sue for peace and work for the success of the event.
Ahmedin Jebel went as far as disclosing details about the financial and security nature of the event scheduled to take place today at 4 P.M. He said in a social media post, “The street Iftar event will be held at the same square tomorrow, May 11, 2021 with the government covering its full expenses and under the full protection of the security forces.” He concluded, “If we stand together, our other demands will be answered.”
This comes a day after reactions to the violent disbursement of the event on its previous date by security forces which saw security personnel firing tear gas into the crowd. The reactions that ranged from strongly worded condemnations to anger to demands of swift actions by the government, forced Deputy Mayor Adanech Abiebie to issue a statement in which she offered her apology to the Muslim Community of Addis Abeba. AS