Ethiopia: 66 soldiers imprisoned over PM protest


A military court in Ethiopia has imprisoned 66 soldiers for marching on the residence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and demanding a pay rise in October.

One of the soldiers was sentenced to 14 years in prison while the other 65 were given jail terms ranging between five and 13 years for violating the ethics of the military. The group of 66 were among 200 soldiers who marched to PM Abiy Ahmed’s office in Addis Ababa earlier this year.

Ethiopia jails soldiers

In October, 200 soldiers marched upon Abiy Ahmed’s office, allegedly demanding a pay rise and the PM later said the soldiers wanted to kill him. At the time, Ahmed defused the situation by ordering them to do pushups and joining in with the exercise himself.

However, the PM expressed his dissatisfaction to parliament over the situation.

“The march of some members of the army to the National Palace [the prime minister’s office] was not only unlawful but very dangerous, because the intention was to abort the ongoing reforms,” Mr Abiy told MPs during a question-and-answer session.

“Meanwhile, after the situation was brought under control, some forces were heard saying: ‘He escaped before we could kill him,'” he added.

Featured image: By Odaw – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.