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Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed does press-ups with protesting soldiers

Ethiopia’s prime minister has done press-ups with dozens of protesting soldiers, who had marched into his office in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Abiy Ahmed was unhappy that soldiers had brought weapons and ordered them to do 10 press-ups.

They were among several hundred protesting soldiers who entered his office grounds to demand a pay rise.

The situation caused alarm, leading to road closures in the area and the internet to be shut off for hours.

Many Ethiopians wondered whether this amounted to a serious security breach, says BBC Amharic’s Jibat Tamirat.

However, the smiles on the soldiers’ faces as they performed the press-ups suggest the prime minister succeeded in defusing the situation amicably:

What happened exactly?

The soldiers began massing outside the presidential compound on Wednesday morning, causing a partial road block in the area, the BBC’s Amharic service reports.

Around half of them were armed with Kalashnikovs and sniper rifles.

They were told by the guards that they could not enter the sprawling grounds with their guns.

Contrary to previous reports, the soldiers were disarmed outside the compound. They were only allowed into the premises in the late afternoon and the road block was lifted.

It is not known how much they wanted their salaries to be increased by.

Experts are speculating that the protest was not as innocent as it first looked.

A former brigadier general told BBC Amharic that the security breach was “dangerous” and “an event which exposed the weakness of the military intelligence”.

Their demand was valid but the procedure soldiers followed violated military discipline, he said.

The general speculated that this was not a spontaneous protest. It might have been orchestrated by a group, he said.

He nonetheless thinks the prime minister deftly resolved the situation, even though the law clearly calls for disciplinary measures against the protesting soldiers.

Legal expert Dereje Zeleke agrees.

“This shows that the military and intelligence apparatus are not willing to serve the new commander-in-chief or the reform he represents,” he said.

He believes this was a message from a group resisting the many changes introduced by the prime minister since he came to power.

After meeting the soldiers on Wednesday, Mr Abiy said he would “look into their complaints” but stressed that even civil servants had to make do with low salaries as the country had limited resources.

“We have to use the money for development purposes,” he said according to a statement. “We can pay everyone higher salaries but we will end up [with] no development.”

Who is Abiy Ahmed?

He came to power in April after three years of protest led by ethnic Oromos, who were demanding an end to what they considered their political and economic marginalization.

The prime minister, who is Oromo himself, has passed a series of massive reforms, making peace with neighbouring Eritrea and releasing the state’s tight grip on parts of the economy.

He has released thousands of political prisoners and unbanned groups, including the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which had been labelled terrorist organisations.

(Source: BBC)

24 Comments

  1. CHIMESE

    kikikiki I will do the same with Inonge Wina just wait and see bani vuta maningi ba PF okay kikikikiki

    Reply
  2. King cool

    Bwafya Sana nomba kukosafye nge button lyapali overall.iyii mama . Bamwenye batushupa Sana nomba… I think we should start beating them one by one. And the labour officers are also no where to be seen , mwema soldiers imeni mutwafweko. Too much lower salaries, that’s a reason why we have So many Street kids and street Adults. Not only that, but also our children are not going to schools, not everyone can enroll his children in Government schools. Others may go to private schools, but again school fees are expensive…

    Reply
  3. GENIOUS SOGOLA JERE

    This way can’t be the solution for solving problems in the country

    Reply
  4. Kapijimpanga

    There are so many fools in this country what ever comes them is change of gvt Zambia lost many lives during the struggle for your freedom fools while Ethiopia not bcz the country has never been colonised so u fools who did not lose relatives in the struggle have been told to go panga for panga ur not experienced we are ready for u old guards those idiots who advocate have money in their off shole accounts they will never come to help you

    Reply
  5. Mr Peace

    Are these soldiers or cadates?

    Reply
  6. My husband

    Those are cadres, under pf in Ethiopia

    Reply
    • mr life

      Yes this is pf police cadres who fire teargas at unza last week when student protested for shima allownces .

      Reply
  7. Skynet p51

    Kikikikiki cadres for pf in ethiopia

    Reply
  8. Razor

    Mugabe learn something from this man.

    Reply
  9. Just a guy

    This is very serious and amounts to treason. Good move Prime Minister to play ing it simply for the moment,it’s a wake up call

    Reply
  10. Kmm

    Hahaaaa!!!!cadres👲👳👮👷

    Reply
  11. Mr dundumwenze

    Kikikikikikiii yaba pa zed awe mwandini.

    Reply
  12. Presidential aid

    If Ethiopian solider would want to have their salaries increased,why can’t they sit-down the minister of defence and try to solve this sensitive issue,even intelligent officer with special soldiers like commandos and other special unit soldiers becomes against the leadership than it’s a very concern matter.African leaders forgets about where they are coming from leaving their countries in total poverty allowing red tape corruption to be on high,due to misrule,misjudge,misappropriation of funds the list is endless.Ethiopian military have painted a bad picture against their country in the way they’ve handled this issue even though it need to sit down entire leadership to have a tangible solution,this cause can conflict between defence forces and leadership in the future.Governments more especially the long-saving leaders,adhere to the complaints that us people who voted for you in the offices we are leaving in extremely poverty,providing food for our families becomes issue than we are afraid of the world we are living in.African soliders it’s time we want to develop the continent in our respective countries not to have conflict with our leaders(politicans),but to conflict solutions that comes with a BETTER understanding.AFRICA A BLESSED CONTINENT.

    Reply
  13. Pf cadre

    leave pf alone you idiots atase

    Reply
  14. Lc

    Can our own President Dr lungu do those press ups kikikikikikiki

    Reply
  15. Amon

    This is the first time to see this minister to be strong like that doing press up with soldiers challenging them

    Reply
  16. edgar lungu

    mmmmm elo ine nshakosa yaaaaaaaaaaaa…

    Reply
  17. Jah

    wake-up it will happen here!

    Reply
  18. Jah

    wake-up it will happen here,with this pf govement.

    Reply
  19. War Minister

    Thats the spirit of real soldiers……..

    Reply
  20. Jeff colby@ g.com

    This is very dangerous for a nation where soldiers protest openly. Let’s hope there cry will b sorted out soonest.

    Reply
  21. Pythias Mambwe

    The Ethiopian military is so indiscipline and one would wonder the kind of training they undergo.

    Reply
  22. mmmhg

    Press upps soldier

    Reply
  23. General

    Soon I wil do it here azamuziba yesu plus he is not even strong its one time I take over give me time kkkkkkk

    Reply

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