NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – Ethiopian pro-government demonstrators criticized the United States on Sunday for suspending security and economic assistance to Ethiopia over the conflict raging in Tigray region, at a massive rally organized by authorities to show support for their actions.
Thousands of people attended the rally in the capital Addis Ababa, many carrying banners written in English, Arabic and Amharic. Slogans included: “USA show us your neutrality”, “Ethiopia doesn’t need a caretaker”, and “Fill the dam”, a reference to a mega dam Addis Ababa is constructing on the Blue Nile River amid a dispute with Sudan and Egypt, Reuters News Agency reported.
It was one of the largest pro-government demonstrations held in Ethiopia since Abiy Ahmed came to office in 2018 and the public criticism of the States was rare, sparking fear that such a move could further stoke ethnic hostilities in the Horn of Africa nation.
Abiy Ahmed’s government is facing growing international pressure over its handling of the crisis in Tigray region and the United States threatens further actions after imposing targeted sanctions on Ethiopian and Eritrean officials complicit in human rights violations.
“We will never kneel down. The preconditions and travel restrictions by the US and its allies are completely unacceptable. It needs to be corrected,” Adaneh Abebe, mayor of Addis Ababa told demonstrators.
Reuters quoted a member of Abiy’s Prosperity Party as saying he had been told by local officials to organize people in his area and had brought 100 others with him to the rally.
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