Ethiopia: Security Forces Warn Against Incitement Over 'No-Mandate' Govt

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
26 September 2020

Addis Ababa — Ethiopia's defence forces and federal police officials have warned against incitement amid the hardline position by some politicians that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's mandate will end on October 10.

The warning on Friday came days after authorities in the Tigra, which conducted regional elections in defiance to the central government, announced that it will not accept an order from Addis Ababa to redo the polls.

The Ethiopian government had postponed the elections initially scheduled for August to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alongside the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) which rules the Tigray region, some opposition groups have been protesting over the mandate of Ahmed's government come October.

"We will be compelled to take action against any entity seeking to impose its will in a way that violates the Constitution, " General Berhanu Jula, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Head of Operation Affairs, told local media on Friday.

The official said those who say there will be no government after October 10 should refrain from any attempt to derail the Constitution, or face the consequences.

"Defence forces will take strong military actions against any group which attempts to violate the Constitution."

The official further stressed that the country's defense forces will collectively safeguard the Constitution irrespective of any force against it.

Police ready

Regarding celebrations of the Meskel Demera and Erecha festivals which will take place in Addis Ababa in the next few days, Federal Police Commissioner General Endeshaw Tassew said police have prepared to ensure peace.

He issued a statement saying the security forces will take action against those pushing for their own interests while insisting that the government's term will end in October.

Police are working closely with the community to maintain peace and security and will not tolerate any violence," he said, and called on the community to report incidents and cooperate with police in the bid to ensure peace.

According to the police commissioner, inspections are being carried out at the main entrances to the capital to ensure peaceful celebrations.

"We have learned that there are forces planning to disrupt the festivals," he said.

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