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Published On: Sat, Jun 23rd, 2018

At least One dead, 154 injured in blast at rally supporting new Ethiopian PM

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Araweelo News Network

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrives for a rally in the Oromia region in April 2018.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia(ANN)-One person has been killed and 154 others wounded in a grenade explosion at a rally attended by thousands in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the country’s health minister says.

“One person has passed away at Black Lion Hospital. I would like to pass my condolences to the family and Ethiopian people,”Amir Aman said on Twitter. “What happened is so sad. But it will never break our unity.”

Health Minister Amir Aman said one person was killed and 154 were wounded, with 10 of them in critical condition.

The blast occurred on Saturday after new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed concluded addressing the crowd in the heart of the city.

In a televised address following the attack, the chief of staff to Ethiopia’s prime pinister, Fitsum Arega, said the deadly blast was “an unsuccessful attempt by forces who do not want to see Ethiopia united.”

 

“There were a few casualties. Details will be provided later,” government spokesman Ahmed Shide said, adding that “a few” deaths are likely.

At least 114 people were hospitalized with injuries, some of them critical, said Solomon Ali of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society.

It was very hard to transfer wounded people because there were dozens of thousands of people at the rally,” Ali said.

The blast occurred after the 41-year-old leader had finished giving a speech before thousands of supporters in Meskel Square of the Ethiopian capital.

 

Abiy had promised the crowd in his speech in Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square that he would bring more transparency to government and reconciliation to a nation of 100 million people that has been torn by protests since 2015.

Eritrea, which has long been at loggerheads with Ethiopia over a border row that Abiy has sought to resolve, condemned the incident, as did the European Union and the United States.

Abiy took office after his predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn, resigned in February following protests in which hundreds of people were killed between 2015 and 2017.

Emergency law was temporarily imposed to quell the unrest and was lifted this month.

Since coming into office in April, Ahmed has carried out a series of radical reforms in Africa’s second-most populous country, including releasing imprisoned dissidents and acting to liberalize the nation’s economy.

Ahmed succeeded Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned in February amid a wave of anti-government protests led by the country’s two largest ethnicities.

According to local press reports, he is the country’s first leader from the ethnic Oromo group, which has been at the center of nearly three years of anti-government rallies against persisting marginalization that have left hundreds of people killed.

The Ethiopian government is accused of human rights violations, including torture and extrajudicial killing of political dissidents.

The attack came a day after Ethiopian opposition group Ginbot 7 announced that it would halt armed attacks in the country following the reforms declared by the new government.

“Our forces have received strict orders to refrain from any sort of armed resistance,” the group said in a statement.

The development came after the Ethiopian government announced last month the release from prison of top Ginbot 7 official Andargachew Tsige.

Government prosecutors further dropped charges against the group’s leader Berhanu Nega, who is based outside Ethiopia and had been sentenced to death in absentia back in 2009 over an assassination plot.

About the Author

- Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist Arraale, is a 20 year experience as a professional Journalist and human rights activist Over the years, worked for the major News Papers in Somaliland as a reporter, editor and contributor. 2008 established website Araweelo News Network, he currently runs a web site based in Somaliland. who is the specializes in the investigation and reporting on issues relating to human rights, democracy, and good governance. contact: Info@araweelonews.com jaamac132@gmail.com Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 WhatsApp + 252 65 910 7347.

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Araweelo is an Associated Network News, The most trusted source for news & Political,investigator report,Human Rights Issues,Educations,Social and Democracy ,Latest News Horn of Africa. runs Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist based in Somaliland.

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