An Ethiopian government official told reporters on Monday in the capital Addis Ababa that ‘armed gangs’ with links to foreign governments are to blame for the ongoing violence in Ethiopia and have necessitated a state of emergency that was declared on Sunday. Getachew Reda said the state of emergency that was declared in the country is aimed at reorganizing the security forces to face the challenges that they are encountering amid massive anti- government protests throughout much of the restive Oromia region.
“What we have now is the involvement of armed gangs which are being armed, trained and financed by foreign forces. Countries that seem to think that the destruction of Ethiopia is in their best interest are lining up behind these destructive elements,” Getachew said adding that the state of emergency will not entail an absolute ban on civilian rights and activities and there will not be a blanket curfew that will be taken across the country. “This is not an attempt by the military to takeover.”
Ethiopia’s Oromia region has been experiencing a renewed violence after dozens of people were killed in a stampede on October 2 during a religious festival in the town of Bishoftu, south of the capital Addis Ababa. Both government and opposition figures said hundreds of both local and foreign businesses were attacked and live were lost since then.
The spokesman stated that there are ‘ample evidences’ that training and financing was provided by Egypt to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which is outlawed and labeled as a terrorist group by Ethiopia. “The jury is still out whether the Egyptian government is to claim responsibility or deny it. We know for a fact that the terrorist group OLF is receiving all kinds of support from Egypt.”
The Ethiopian Parliament is expected to convene later today after a two months recess and Getachew said a cabinet reshuffle within the government is expected in the coming two to three weeks. An internet blackout that has been in place for the past five days has also been lifted off on Monday.