News: Stay-at-home protests against command post, cluster arrangement ongoing: Welkite’s residents

Picture: Social Media

By Biruk Alemu @Birukalemu21

Addis Abeba: Residents in Welkite town, Gurage Zone have told Addis Standard that a two-day stay-at-home boycott is in progress opposing the command post and cluster arrangement. 

A source from Welkite, who did not want to be named, disclosed to Addis Standard that the people are demanding their constitutional rights by enacting a stay-at-home strike and closing businesses, and restricting movement against the instated command post, which the source stated was unconstitutionally hindering their rights to movement.   

In the presence of no security concerns, the command post [meaning armed security forces] is causing a state of fear amongst the people, which has no legal precedent; furthermore, youth who were opposing the proposed cluster arrangement is being jailed without any warrants, according to our second source, Tenagn (name changed for security reasons). Tenagn added that hotels, business centers, and government offices are closed, and stressed that such acts of civil disobedience would continue until their demands acquire responses. 

Temesegn (name also changed to maintain secrecy), explains that the stay-at-home movement aims to afford court procedures for what he called were  ‘unjustifiably imprisoned officials who refuted political gambling’. He added that the peaceful means of their struggle would continue depending on the retort of the government. 

In a second presser published on the 24th of August, the regional-zonal command post cautioned that closing business shops for no reason and starting from 25 August, stressed that banks and different governmental and private organizations can not be closed. It further indicated that transport providers can not cease operations, and actions would be taken against individuals found to be trespassing on this directive. However, the stay-at-home boycott happened regardless of such warnings. 

Southern Nation, Nationalities, People’s  Regional state command post had conducted an emergency meeting on 18 August, subsequently prohibiting all forms of meetings, governmental and non-governmental alike. The regional command post stipulated that any rallies or similar activities, closing shop without valid reasons, it imposed a curfew on three-wheeled bajaj vehicular movement after 8 PM and on motorbikes after 7 PM. 

The command post warned that measures would be taken against anyone found to be contradicting the rule to be present in governmental offices during office hours. AS

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