Ethiopia: PM defends reform policy, warns ‘coup’ plotters

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Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed has defended his reform policy and issued a strong warning to anyone interested in toppling his government following a coup attempt in the Amhara region.

The Ethiopian leader has implemented widespread political, economic and social reforms since coming into power in April last year. While his reforms have been largely welcomed, they have also met resistance from certain political groups while being hindered by a dramatic spread of ethnic tension across many parts of the country.

Abiy Ahmed defends reform policy

Addressing lawmakers on Monday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reiterated his government commitment to opening up the country’s political space. He reminded MPs that more than 45,000 individuals have been granted amnesty during democratic forms since he assumed office and pointed towards the economic impact of opening up key sectors to foreign investment.

The prime minister also condemned the recent coup attempt in Amhara, calling it a blatant attempt to grab power from regional authorities.

“It was an act to steal power,” he said. “The government is now taking measures to protect the constitutional order and arrest those behind the crime. … Power in Ethiopia will only be by those elected. This should be underlined.”

Abiy also fired a warning message to those involved in the failed coup attempt and anyone tempted to try and seize power in the country.

“If there’s anyone who threatens Ethiopia’s sovereignty, we will fight them with a Kalashnikov, not with a pen. Ethiopia’s sovereignty is not up for discussion. We will give our lives for it,” the PM warned.

Featured image: By Odaw – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66598891

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.