Sunday, June 2, 2013

Thousands rally for Democratic and Constitutional rights in unusual Ethiopia protest


About 10,000 Ethiopians staged an anti-government procession on Sunday in the first large-scale protest since a disputed 2005 election ended in street violence that killed 200 people. The demonstrators marched through Addis Ababa's northern Arat Kilo and Piazza districts before gathering at Churchill Avenue in front of a looming obelisk with a giant red star perched on top, a relic of Ethiopia's violent Communist past. Some carried banners reading "Justice! Justice! Justice!" and some bore pictures of imprisoned opposition figures. Others chanted, "We call for respect of the constitution". A few police officers watched the demonstration, for which the authorities had granted permission. "We have repeatedly asked the government to release political leaders, journalists and those who asked the government not to intervene in religious affairs," said Yilekal Getachew, chairman of the Semayawi (Blue) Party which organized the protests. He said the demonstrators also wanted action to tackle unemployment, inflation and corruption. "If these questions are not resolved and no progress is made in the next three months, we will organize more protests. It is the beginning of our struggle," he told Reuters. Government officials were not immediately available for comment. Source (Reuters)




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