Published: Mon, June 25, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Blast injures dozens at rally supporting Ethiopian PM

Blast injures dozens at rally supporting Ethiopian PM

Eritrea condemned a grenade attack at a rally in Addis Ababa attended by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Eritrea's ambassador to Japan wrote on Twitter.

New Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reacts during his rally in Ambo, about 120km west of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 11, 2018.

But it remains unclear how deep Abiy's support runs within the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) for carrying out the reforms. He said Abiy's rally had been a "demonstration for peace, the first of its kind in Ethiopia".

Health Minister Amir Aman later tweeted that one person had died of his wounds among the 155 reported wounded.

Police later used tear gas to clear the area, while an AFP photographer saw two men and two women taken into custody on suspicion of being involved with the blast.

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He has served in the military, founded the country's Information Network and Security Agency, which is responsible for cyber-security in a country where the government exercises tight control over the internet, and then became the minister for science and technology. "Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki have demonstrated courageous leadership by taking these steps toward peace".

The reformist prime minister said: 'Love always wins.

The flow of tens of thousands of people to Addis Ababa's main square was testament to Abiy's broad popularity as the youngest national leader in Africa.

But not everyone supports the reforms.

"Our forces have received strict orders to refrain from any form of armed resistance", the groups said in a statement.

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Ethiopia has been riven by years of sometimes violent protests. "We do not want peace by giving away this land after all the sacrifice", Teklit Girmay, a local government official told Reuters.

State broadcaster ETV reports that over 30 people have been arrested, including the deputy head of Addis Ababa's police commission.

It is one of many policy shifts announced since Abiy took office, moves that could reshape Ethiopia's relations with its neighbors and have equally dramatic impacts inside the country of 100 million people.

Saturday's rally began as a show of exuberance, with supporters wearing clothes displaying Abiy's image and carrying signs saying "One Love, One Ethiopia".

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