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12:10 pm - Thursday October 18, 2018

SENIOR ETHIOPIA POLICE OFFICIAL ARRESTED OVER SECURITY SHORTCOMINGS: STATE MEDIA

Reuters

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed survived the grenade attack on Saturday at a massive rally in support of his push for radical political and economic reforms.

ADDIS ABABA – The deputy commissioner of the Addis Ababa Police Commission has been arrested and is being investigated for shortcomings in security after a grenade attack in the Ethiopian capital killed one person and left scores wounded, according to state-run TV.

“Nine individuals, including the Deputy Commissioner of the Addis Ababa Police Commission, are in custody and under investigation over shortcomings” in security, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said on Saturday.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed survived the grenade attack on Saturday at a massive rally in support of his push for radical political and economic reforms, including a peace deal with regional arch-enemy Eritrea.

Abiy, whose first three months in office have pointed to the nation of 100 million opening up to the outside world after decades of inward-looking, security-obsessed isolation, was whisked away by bodyguards moments after the blast.

The former soldier said the attack was an attempt to divide the nation.

Despite boasting one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, opponents say the benefits have not been shared fairly between ethnic groups and regions in the country, which has been run by the same ruling coalition for more than quarter of a century.

As well as promising economic reforms, Abiy stunned Ethiopians this month by saying he was ready to fully implement a peace deal with Eritrea that was signed in 2000 after a two-year war. For years, Ethiopia refused to implement the deal, saying it wanted more talks.

Addressing the nation on television shortly after the blast and still wearing a green t-shirt he was handed at the rally, Abiy said the attack was an “attempt by forces who do not want to see Ethiopia united.”

The attack took place moments after Abiy had finished his speech to tens of thousands of people gathered in Meskel Square in the centre of the capital Addis Ababa.

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