The Ethiopian government has admitted a violent pushback to a recently ratified state of emergency (SOE). A number of security of forces have reportedly been attacked and their weapons confiscated.
The privately-owned Addis Standard news portal quoted defense minister and head of the Command Post administering the SOE, Siraj Fegessa, as comparing the fightback as a ‘coloured revolution.’
“Seventeen security forces were hurt so far, according to Siraj. He also said several areas have witnessed property damages including looting, breaking ins and torching of government offices – particularly Woreda and Kebele offices – as well as burning of public buses and government vehicles.
“Four vehicles were torched beyond repair and ten vehicles, including public buses, were destroyed in various places,” the Addis Standard report said.
Fegessa was on Wednesday (March 7, 2018) presenting the first report on implementation of the SOE, barely a week after it was controversially ratified in a parliamentary vote. Activists insist the vote failed and speaker Abadulla Gemeda apologized for a numbers mix-up.
The minister also disclosed that there had been arrests made under the emergency rule – he, however, did not give details of where the arrests were made or how many people had been detained.