Abiy Ahmed Ali, the new and reformist Prime Minister of Ethiopia, has survived an assassination after a bomb was thrown at his convoy.
According to Ethiopiana freelance Journalist, Mohammed Ademo, the Prime Minister had turned up to address a massive rally in Addis Ababa, organized to show support for his reform agenda.
“He showed up at the march wearing a t-shirt with a map of Africa and Mandela’s famous “power” salute,” the Journalist said via twitter.
Reports from the scene indicate at least four people were killed and 14 others wounded in a bomb blast.
Meanwhile, three fleeing suspects were cornered and apprehended by the public. They are now in police custody.
Shortly after the incidence, Prime Minister Abiy addressed the nation on Television saying, “such small incidents will not deter us from the journey of renewal. We will unite and overcome this failed and defeated idea.”
It’s the largest demonstration of its kind in recent memory.
Hundreds of thousands and perhaps around a million people converged on the capital city’s Meskel Square starting at 9:00am local time.
The blast occurred and dozens panicked, run in different directions leading to a stampede.
The sound of the blast was audible enough to be heard.
According to an Ethiopian blog O-pride, since Abiy’s April 2018 appointment, a plethora of the previous administration’s seemingly untouchable, formerly powerful political leaders, military and intelligence chiefs, have been demoted or dismissed from their posts.
The blog further says that stalwarts of the ruling elite who had thrived under the tenure of the previous Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, were believed to be strongly opposed to PM Abiy’s ascension to power.
Eritrea Peace Move
Early this month, the PM made a surprising announcement that he will fully accept the terms of a peace agreement with Eritrea signed in 2000 to end the two-year border war that killed tens of thousands.
Eritrea’s president announced Wednesday he is sending a rare delegation to neighboring Ethiopia for peace talks, days after Ethiopia’s new prime minister took a major step toward calming deadly tensions with its decades-long rival.
This is the first such delegation since 1998, when a border war erupted between the countries and they cut off diplomatic relations.
Eritrea’s longtime President Isaias Afwerki noted “positive signals” in recent days from Ethiopia and said the delegation will “gauge current developments directly and in depth” to plan future steps. He spoke during a Martyrs Day celebration in the capital, Asmara.