Following recent consolidation of power by Ethiopia’s despot Meles Zenawi and his wife Azeb Mesfin, several high-ranking and mid-level members of the ruling Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) have lost their jobs. Many of these TPLFites have been living in houses given to them rent free by the Rental Housing Administration. Now that they are no longer working for the “government,” the agency asked them to move out, which led to armed confrontations in some instances.
During the past few days, the agency has been trying to enforce its order by sending its staff accompanied by police officers who are armed with hand guns and eviction notice. In every occasion, the agency personnel and the police were chased away by the TPLFites who pulled out bigger guns.
The housing agency has also been going after several large, multi-million-birr houses that were confiscated during the Derg regime but later returned to their owners. Last week the agency told hundreds of home owners to evacuate, or else face forcible eviction. The agency’s reason is that the owners did not present enough evidence showing ownership. Many of the houses were returned over 15 years ago. One family Ethiopian Review associates spoke with has been given less than a week to evacuate, even though they have provided all the necessary documents that prove their ownership.
Meanwhile, after a great deal of public outcry, the Meles regime has temporarily halted its plan to uproot the St. Yoseph Cemetery in Addis Ababa.