ADDIS ABABA, June 25 (Xinhua) — The global community has condemned the deadly explosion that hits a mass rally that was organized in support of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The mass rally, which was attended by hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians who came in to support the reform program of Ahmed, had featured unexpected bomb explosion shortly after Ahmed gave a speech to a huge crowd of supporters.
The Ethiopian Federal Police Commission as of Sunday had arrested 30 people in connection with a bomb attack, which left two people dead and 156 injured, according to figures given by Ethiopia Ministry of Health.
Various international community actors such as the United Nation (UN), African Union (AU), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the European Union (EU) have also condemned the bomb attack.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was the first to condemn the tragic incident, “the secretary-general learned the news with grave concern and condemns this act of violence,” his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Saturday after the explosion.
The UN chief expresses his solidarity with the government and people of Ethiopia, the statement added.
In a press statement, the Chairperson of the Commission of AU, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he learned with shock and dismay the attack that took place in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Saturday at a rally held in support of the prime minister.
“I condemn this cowardly attack that can’t be justified under any circumstance. The AU expresses solidarity with the Ethiopian people and government, as well as with the victims of this criminal act,” said Mahamat in a statement.
File photo shows Moussa Faki Mahamat Chairperson of African Union (AU) Commission speaks during the 35th ordinary session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the AU in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, Jan. 22, 2018. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)
IGAD’s Executive Secretary, Mahboub Maalim, also condemned “in the strongest terms” the attack on Saturday.
“It is indeed very shocking to learn that innocent civilians expressing their political support to their leaders in a peaceful manner and as guaranteed by their Constitution, have been targeted by a grenade attack,” Maalim said.
The EU mission to Ethiopia also soon after the incident expressed “heartfelt condolences” to the Ethiopian people and the Ethiopian government for the victims of the “cowardly attack.”
The EU is a key development partner of Ethiopia providing humanitarian and financial assistance to the East African country every year.
Djibouti’s President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, also expressed his condolences to the Ethiopian people and Ahmed, saying “this attempted attack bears the signatures of small groups who want to oppose the bold reforms to develop and strengthen national unity initiated by the Prime Minister as soon as he took office.”
“We strongly condemn the attempted attack on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.”
Leaders of Somalia, Egypt, Namibia and Kuwait were among the many countries that expressed condolences to the people of Ethiopia aftermath of the bomb explosion.
The mass rally, which was held in Addis Ababa and other major cities across the East African country, was organized to give credit to the various activities taken over the past two months since Ahmed took office on April 2.
Millions of people gather at Meskel Square in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on June 23, 2018 for peaceful demonstration in support of the newly elected prime minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)
The rally that was initiated by Ethiopians mainly through various social media outlets attracted the attention of the Ethiopian government, eventually featured by the prime minister, who was said to be the target behind the bomb attack.
Ahmed, addressing the crowd prior to the bomb incident, stressed the importance of unity and equality among Ethiopians and the various ethnic groups in the East African country.