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Ethiopian police downplays security concerns ahead of mass rally in northern city

Ethiopian police downplays security concerns ahead of mass rally in northern city

Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region police downplayed reports of illegal smuggling of armaments and explosives as the regional capital is set to hold mass rally in support of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday.

Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state capital, Bahir Dra, is expected to host a mass rally in support of Ahmed on Sunday – a week after a similar support rally in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa featured unexpected bomb attack, eventually killing two people and injuring 156 others.

Various social media posts as well as some mainstream media have been reporting illegal smuggling of armaments and explosives in Bahir Dar and its surroundings ahead of the support rally.

Amhara region police, however, stressed that recent reports that have been circulating through various outlets are “baseless.”

According to Bahir Dar city police head Walelegn Dagnew, security preparations are already finalized in order to conduct the support rally in a peaceful manner.

He, however, indicated that some 10 individuals are currently under investigation by the regional police in connection with the mass rally.

Police urged social media users to abstain from disseminating similar fictitious rumors.

Ethiopian Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office Ahmed Shide on Wednesday issued a security high alert for citizens across the country after the bomb attack in Addis Ababa.

“They saw their attempt, however deadly, foiled by the people before their eyes, and they might be making similar attempts,” Ahmed said.

The Ethiopian government on Thursday also revealed the formation of a special committee designated to investigate plots against the ongoing nationwide reform.

Revealing the formation of the special committee, the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s Office stressed that actors who are against the ongoing reform were behind Saturday’s bomb attack. 

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