Ethiopia PM calls for unity after deadly ethnic violence

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Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has called on his country’s people to unite after the latest spate of deadly violence brings national security into question.

Clashes broke out last Wednesday after a prominent Oromo activists accused security forces of plotting an attack against him in his Addis Ababa home. Violence quickly broke out after protesters – some from rival ethnic groups – took to the street. At least sixty-two protesters and five police officers have been killed in clashes, according to reports.

PM responds to ethnic violence

“This is a test that shows if Ethiopians don’t work together in collaboration and in unison, that it could turn our road to be a difficult and a scary one,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wrote in a statement released on Twitter on Saturday.

The PM expressed his sorrow for the lives lost in the clashes but called on people to put aside their differences and pull together during this crucial time for Ethiopian politics.

The violence came weeks after Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in securing a peace deal with neighbouring Eritrea. Some have questioned his receival of the award considering the ongoing spates of ethnic violence taking place within Ethiopia – a country that’s home to more than 80 recognised ethnic groups divided between nine states.

Healing Ethiopia’s ethnic divides is expected to be one of Abiy Ahmed’s greatest challenges ahead of next year’s election.

Featured image: Public domain, Kremlin.ru

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.