Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia attended the traditional Easter Eve celebration of "Gebre Selan" at the Grand Palace on Saturday (13 April).
Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia attended the traditional Easter Eve celebration of "Gebre Selan" at the Grand Palace on Saturday (13 April). Priests and deacons in colourful religious robes took part in the ceremony, which was also attended by members of the Imperial Family, archbishops, cabinet ministers and other prominent officials.
Meanwhile the social and industrial unrest in Ethiopia continued, and demonstrations and marches provided a disturbing background for the weekend's Easter celebrations. During Saturday some sections of the police force demanded the resignation of their Commissioner, Lieutenant General Yilma Sibeshi. This followed allegations that the Commissioner had been shielding members of the previous government who were being investigated by an official inquiry commission.
Also during the day thousands of people took part in the second biggest demonstration ever seen in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. The demonstrators were striking busmen, railwaynen, factory workers and students, who were demanding the dismissal of several top transport officials as well as action against former cabinet ministers.
Nevertheless, the seasonal religious observances continued and on Easter Sunday services were held in churches and monasteries throughout the country. On Sunday night the Emperor attended a Midnight Mass at St. Stephen's Church in the centre of Addis Ababa.