Ethiopia warns of increased weapon smuggling aimed at inciting unrest

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Ethiopia’s Federal Police Commission on Saturday urged the public to remain vigilant against the increased smuggling of armaments.

Assefa Abyou, Commissioner General of the Ethiopian Federal Police Commission, told local media that hundreds of armaments were intercepted from illegally entering into the country over the past few months.

According to Abyou, the main target of such smugglings is to incite unrest and armed conflict.

Ethiopia has faced incessant protests since 2016, especially in its three most populous Oromia, Amhara and Southern regional states.

The recent protests have led Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to declare resignation, which was followed by the imposition of a six-month state of emergency.

Abyou asserted that forces who have a hidden agenda to aggravate Ethiopia’s security challenges are the major actors behind the smugglings.

The Command Post that was established to enforce the state of emergency was so far “successful in intercepting armaments from interning into the country,” according to Abyou.

The Ethiopian government imposed the martial law effective as of Feb. 16, saying it was to protect the country’s constitution, citizens and their property.

 

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