The Ethiopian Prime Minister led the support rally in Wolkite and is externalizing the opposition to his government

Ethiopian Prime Minister _ Welkite
Abiy Ahmed delivers a speech at Wolkite Stadium (Photo: PD)

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Toronto – “As we do not want to be held back by the challenges we face, we will continue the work we have started to make Ethiopia an example of African prosperity,” Abiy Ahmed told the people of Wolkite – central Ethiopia – who had gathered for a show of support for his party and leadership. The event was apparently organized by the ruling party.

The video footage broadcast on state media EBC reportedly shows tens of thousands of people – believed to be from Wolkite and the surrounding area – gathering as Abiy Ahmed delivered a speech. During his latest presence in the Ethiopian parliament, Abiy Ahmed said his ruling party has more than 14 million members.

A few weeks ago, a similar support rally was organized in Addis Ababa – a city where opposition figures and activists were not allowed to organize peaceful anti-war demonstrations to oppose Abiy Ahmed’s war in the Amhara and Oromia regions. Many of the organizers were arrested and remain behind bars, some of them in Awash Arba.

It was not long ago that Wolkite himself organized an anti-government strike by organizing stay-at-home orders and other forms of non-violent resistance in response to the popular demand for an ethnic Guraghe state.

Abiy Ahmed has lost the legitimacy he enjoyed when he took power in 2018. In addition to the ongoing wars against the government in various parts of the country, the crackdown on peaceful dissidents and press freedom seems to confirm this. Human rights organizations at home and abroad and committees to protect journalists have released reports condemning the state of human rights and press freedom in the country.

Abiy Ahmed portrays the opposition to his government and the armed resistance in many parts of the country as the work of forces that want to divide Ethiopia and weaken the country.

“For those of you who are in the jungle and for the Ethiopians in some places, Ethiopia is bigger than those who deploy and pay you,” he says.

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