Armaments are being smuggled into Addis Ababa – NSC admits

Siraj Fegiessa

11 Jan 2018 by APA News |

The government of Ethiopia has announced the interception over the last two months of a huge number of armaments that were to be smuggled into Addis Ababa.In a press briefing on Wednesday, the head of the National Security Council, Siraj Fegiessa, said the intercepted armaments include about 270 Kalashnikov rifles, 200 pistols, and 66,000 rounds of bullets.

The weapons were intercepted at the checking points of Assosa, Metema and Togowuchalie in Ethiopia, said Siraj who is also the country’s Minister of Defence.

Ethiopia imposed state of emergency in October 2016, following anti-government protests mainly in Oromia and Amhara regional states where protesters demanded that the government to steps down.

The minister claimed an increase in smuggled weapons after the state of emergency was lifted last in April.

The minister did not say whether the smugglers were arrested, but said the weapons were to aggravate the prevailing situation by inciting unrest and armed conflict.

However, there are still demonstrations by individuals in some areas of Ethiopia, who hold the flag of some groups that were designated as terrorist organizations by the House of People’s Representatives (HPR), he added.

The east African nation has been facing unrest, including in higher learning institutions where, according to the Defence minister, the problems have been alleviated and the learning-teaching process has now returned to normalcy. ”Those responsible for the problem are under prosecution”, he said.

As regards ethnic clashes between Oromo and Ethiopian Somali nationals in the eastern part of the country, Siraj noted that national defense forces were deployed and they managed to control the situation along the border of ethnic Oromos and Ethiopian Somalis.

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