Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has spoken on the country’s security situation stressing that lawlessness was not going to be tolerated.
His comments come at a time when there is a rising concern about issues of internally insecurity that has led to deaths, destruction of property and mass displacement.
The PM “underscored that since rule of law is the glue and foundation that keeps our society together the government won’t tolerate the increasing tendency to disregard the law,” his chief of staff Fitsum Arega wrote on Twitter.
Abiy made the comments during an event at the country’s Defense Command College. The PM was joined by his deputy Demeke Mekonnen joined other top government officials at the event.
“Respect for the law implies a recognition that only the state has exclusive policing power. More than any time, our law enforcement agencies need to demonstrate their fidelity to the constitution by bringing to justice chaos instigators and those who disregard the law,” Arega added.
Despite having set Ethiopia on a path of massive democratic reforms since coming into office in April 2018, Abiy’s biggest challenge yet has been the deterioration of internal security.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a recent report noted that insecurity across the nation threatened the reforms for which Abiy has earned praise home and abroad.
HRW enumerated instances of violence resulting in deaths across other parts of the country. “At least 15 people in other parts of the country – DireDawa city, Shashemene, Tape town, and Adama city – were also killed in ethnically-charged mob justice and rioting in August.
“The political and ethnic dynamics around these recent killings show that despite reforms and improved rhetoric on human rights from the federal government, insecurity is still a problem – particularly where Liyu police roam unchecked.
“Bringing perpetrators swiftly to justice is the only way to not only stem the violence, but also signal to Ethiopians that the country is changing for good,” its statement added.