Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians from all walks of life have taken to the streets to protest what they see as interference by the US administration.
In the capital, Addis Ababa, demonstrators gathered at the Old City Stadium and the surrounding streets in a well-organized peaceful demonstration called “Voices of Freedom and Sovereignty”.
Last week, US President Joe Biden strengthened his administration’s stance against Ethiopia by suspending and imposing sanctions that angered the vast majority of Ethiopians.
On 23 May, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke of a “visa restriction policy” for people holding government and military positions from Ethiopia and Eritrea.
See also: Ethiopia denied using chemical weapons in the Tigray region
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration strongly condemned the visa restrictions imposed by the Biden administration and threatened stronger measures, including the suspension of security assistance.
“We demand that the United States reconsider its position on Ethiopia,” “We will never kneel in the face of external pressure,” and “We chose our leaders” were some of the messages that were displayed on the demonstration posters.
On the other hand, the protesters showed pictures of the presidents of Turkey, China and Russia as an expression of praise and respect.
A demonstration will be held on Tuesday in front of the US embassy in Addis Ababa, during which American citizens of Ethiopian descent will present a written protest to the US ambassador.
* Daniela Mendoza contributed to this note.
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