UPDATE 4 – Menelik Palace in Ethiopia’s capital surrounded by soldiers who demanded pay increase


PM Abiy’s explanation about the incident involving special force soldiers raises more questions than it attempts to answer:

  1. Why are the special force soldiers, who are tasked with the most important job of guarding the nation’s leaders and critical infrastructure, underpaid and not provided with food and basic necessities to the point of living in an abject poverty?
  2. Where were their commanders when the soldiers decided to surround the Prime Minister’s residence, which is a case of extreme insubordination? Were the young soldiers agitated by their commanders themselves to break the law?
  3. Why was the Internet disconnected, which led many people to suspect a coup d’etat attempt?
  4. Why didn’t the government’s spokesperson come out immediately to try to calm and reassure the public?

The seriousness of the incidence should not be minimized. A serious security breach against the Prime Minister has occurred and those who allowed it to happen need to be court-martialed and receive severe punishments. Otherwise, it is going to happen again and the consequence next time can be worse.

Analysis by Aba Mela:

The Prime Minister is safe, according to Mereja.com sources in Addis Ababa. He is meeting with the soldiers who are demanding a salary increase. Even though they arrived at the Palace fully armed, they willingly disarmed.

PM Abiy speaks

PM Abiy is reportedly speaking with the protesting soldiers at this hour, but no official statement has been released by the government yet. It is reported that the soldiers were disarmed before meeting with the Prime Minister.

Some Mereja.com sources are saying that the soldiers are demanding pay raise, and that it is not a coup d’etat. It is not known why the Internet in Addis Ababa has been shut down if it is just a dispute over salary.

Menelik Palace where the Prime Minister’s residence is located and the entire Arat Kilo area has been surrounded by heavily armed soldiers today. It is not clear whether there is a coup d’etat attempt underway. Internet service in Addis Ababa has been interrupted. Stay tuned for more updates.