About 30,000 Muslims marched through the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday (21 April) in the biggest demonstration ever seen in the country.
About 30,000 Muslims marched through the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday (21 April) in the biggest demonstration ever seen in the country. The Muslims, who were joined by some 'radical' Christians, were protesting about discrimination against them.
The march was held to back a 13-point petition listing Muslim grievances that were presented to the newly appointed Prime Minister, Endalkachew Makonnen nearly two weeks ago. The marchers' placards and chants repeated their demands. They said": "We can not afford to remain second-class citizens" and... "Ethiopia is not a Christian island. We too are Ethiopians". The demonstration was peaceful and the 200 riot police had little to do, but hold back the traffic.
Most of the Christians joined the march at the Haile Selassie University. The demonstration also passed the Jubilee and Grand Palaces. The Muslims claim they are as numerous as the Christians, but they have no provincial Governors or army generals.
Despite a plea by Prime Minister Endalkachew Makonne, several thousand Christians staged a counter rally two days after the Muslim demonstration. They asked Patriarch Abone Towoflos to appear on television to emphasis that Ethiopia is also troubled by widespread industrial unrest. Railway workers, busmen, dockers and civil servants are still on strike.base