According to new information coming from Ethiopia, the anti-government protests have spread to more regions in the country except to major cities. A SomalilandPress correspondent in Ethiopia said many protesters are unhappy with the lack of support from the city, especially the silence of most Addis Ababa people.
As retaliation, farmers and merchants in the rural have begun to block and choke the movement of goods toward the city. “The Addis markets are emptying fast. Many city people are over stocking food and supplies in Addis Ababa” said a businessman living in the capital.
Various protests planned in Addis Ababa have failed due to both government crackdown and lack of participation.
“The city population was on the frontline of anti-government movement 10 years ago, but now there is not enough appetite for that,” said an AAU political science professor speaking on condition of anonymity.
He said most city people are “uncomfortable with the ethnic identity politics associated with ‘#Oromo & #Amhara protests’ because they don’t view themselves in tribal lens.”
Many sources also claimed that the TPLF ruling party has taken precautions, concerned of massive embarrassing protests in front of embassies and foreign media. It has bribed potential city protesters and handed out cash & food to unemployed youth in Addis Ababa ahead of scheduled protests.
Meanwhile, stay-at-home protests have kept the Amhara region frozen on standstill while more Oromo youth continue to die daily in new protests throughout Oromia. In Gojjam and Gondar towns, some ethnic Tigrayans have already abandoned their homes and businesses, fearing ethnic backlash. But in Oromia towns like Adama, Tigrayan businessmen have remained safe there due to heavy federal police presence and protection.
The often colorful Ethiopian New Year festivals were somber over the weekend as people refused to celebrate in excess and canceled many events. The outspoken Oromo Pastor Tolosa Gudina reportedly asked for the government to repent, and the people to forgive, heal and unite to welcome the new year. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Ethiopian Muslims staged anti-government protests nationwide following prayers over the weekend.