Abay Woldu, President of Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray, yesterday has ordered the notorious Federal Police to attack peaceful residents of Mekele city who have been protesting an eviction order.
It’s reported that two weeks ago, on April 20, hundreds of Mekele residents staged a protest march against the order by the city administration to vacate their homes. When the protesters marched toward Abay Woldu’s office to air their grievance, the Federal Police stopped them and instead allowed only their representatives to meet with Abay. The representatives were promised that he will look in to the matter and give them an answer within a week.
Yesterday, government officials, escorted by heavily armed Federal Police troopers wearing gas masks, went to the neighborhood to mark the hundreds of houses to be demolished. When the residents started to resist, the Federal Police attacked them with tear gas. Several children collapsed during the attack.
Today, the residents regrouped and staged a protest. The Federal Police responded by savagely beating them and arresting those who are thought to be organizers, including Andom Araya, who was seen carrying the Ethiopian flag at the April 20 protest march.
The Federal Police also disarmed the local militia who have been sympathizing with the residents.
Abay Wolde is a politburo member of the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front (Woyanne) and Meles Zenawi’s yes man.
(Read more in Amharic here)