Ethiopia prime minister does push-ups with protesting soldiers

12 Octubre, 2018, 13:31 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Internet shutdown in Ethiopia as soldiers march to protest low pay

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday did press-ups with protesting soldiers who had walked to his office demanding better pay.

They were among several hundred protesting soldiers who entered his office grounds to demand a pay rise. They said their salaries and living standards were low. "[Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed] told them the way they presented their grievances was not correct but anyway heard their issues". Others, heavily armed, were seen elsewhere in Addis Ababa. ETV said it had been shut off to prevent fake news circulating on social media. His intervention seems to have diffused the tensions as the videos show smiling soldiers in military fatigues fanned out in front of the prime minister following his lead as he does push-ups in his white shirt and suit.

It wasn't clear the reason for the exercises drill, but the BBC reported that he had instructed them to give him 20 after some soldiers had brought their guns with them to his office.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that government was going to function with only twenty ministries, down from the previous twenty-eight.

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Mr Abiy has replaced the heads of the military and intelligence service and begun a rapprochement with foe Eritrea that has ended decades of conflict between the neighbours.

The elite, red beret-wearing troops were deployed in southern Ethiopia in August following clashes between the largest ethnicity, the Oromos, and the Gedeo ethnic minority, which have displaced almost one million people.

The station also reported that the soldiers had been on a mission in Burayu, a town in the Oromia region that borders the capital Addis Ababa, for the past several weeks following violence along ethnic lines there last month.



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