A huge rally on Sunday May 4, 2014 estimated 100,000 ended peacefully in Addis Ababa. It was organized by one of the opposition parties Andinert (UDJ) billed as “YeEreta Kene”, “Day of Rage” to denounce the ruling regime for its incompetence to deliver the basic of life, food, shelter, power, communication and transportation.
Women carried “Gane” a traditional water container made of clay upside down to dramatize the absence of clean water for the majority of Addis residents.
Young muslims marched wearing yellow jail jumpsuits, college graduates with their gown to demonstrate the lack of freedom of religion and job for college graduates respectively.
Ethiopian Muslims representatives have been locked up for more than two years for asking the regime not to get involved in their affairs. They have been protesting every Friday in their mosques in a coordinated manner throughout Ethiopia.
The protesters denounced the killing of Oromo students last week by regime security and demanded independent body to investigate and bring those accountable for this heinous crime to justice. Slogans were heard in Afan Oromo and Amharic denouncing the killing.
The Zone 9 bloggers the last month victims, journalists, political activists and leaders who have been thrown for long term jail need to be released according the sign the protesters carry and the slogans they shouted in Amharic.
BBC and other foreign medias who are in Addis Ababa to cover the South Sudan war and the ongoing negotiation to stop the killing can not miss this huge rally. Ignoring it at this age of communication will put their credibility in covering worldwide political event without any bias into question.
Ethiopian oppositions who have similar program with minor differences like that of The Blue Party (Semayawi) that organized similar rally in Addis last month, AEUP and Andinet (UDJ) should start organizing a United Rally in Addis Ababa and other major cities in Ethiopia frequently to put pressure on the government to respect the right to assemble without any harassment.
Opposition parties are not in competing mode right now. It is time for forming a United Peoples Front. It is the battle between the people and their unelected rulers. It is peaceful waged in public for all to see.