Thousands of people gathered in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Saturday (1 October) for the funeral of trade union leader, Mr.
Thousands of people gathered in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Saturday (1 October) for the funeral of trade union leader, Mr. Temesgen Madebo, who died after being shot last week. He was the third Ethiopian trade union leader to have been killed within the last nine months.
SYNOPSIS: Thousand of workers, farmers, and professional people marched to Revolution Square in Addis Ababa to pay their last respects to Mr. Madebo, who was chairman of the pro-government All Ethiopian Trade Union (AETU). The circumstances surrounding Mr. Madebo's death last Thursday (29 September) aren't clear, but the Ethiopian News Agency said he died in a military hospital after being shot by an assassin on his way home from work. Mr. Madebo's predecessor, Mr. Tewodros Bekele was murdered last February by what the government called "reactionary gunmen", and similarly was accorded a huge state funeral.
Earlier this year the former chairman of the now extinct Confederation of Ethiopian Labour Union (CELU), Mr. Ato Markos Hagos, was killed at his home in Addis Ababa. The government said he died while resisting arrest. The CELU was dissolved in 1975 after challenging the right of Ethiopia military regime to hold power, and the government formed the AETU to replace it.
Various government and trade union officials at Saturday's service spoke of the lesson the Ethiopian people could learn from Mr. Madebo's "revolutionary sprit".