Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed joined several soldiers in the country’s capital on Thursday to do push-ups, after instructing the protesting soldiers to do push-ups as punishment for carrying weapons into the Prime Ministers residence.
Several soldiers matched to the Prime Minister’s office on Thursday October 11, over labour relations issues. ‘Members of the army claimed that officers at various levels could not address their grievances about the low allowances and benefits they receive,’ ENA said, adding they had gone ‘to appeal to Abiy Ahmed’ directly.
But some soldiers took guns to the Prime Ministers residence which triggered fear and internet black out across Addis. Mr Abiy’s chief of staff Fitsum Arega said the Prime Minister ‘listened to the grievances carefully, reprimanded them for the wrong procedure they followed to express those grievances, but concluded the meeting with a promise to meet properly in the near future.’
Photos circulating on social media showed Mr Abiy doing push-ups with the smiling troops. His intervention seems to have diffused the tensions as the videos show smiling soldiers in military fatigues fanned out in front of the prime minister following his lead as he does push-ups in his white shirt and suit.
It wasn’t clear the reason for the exercises drill, but the BBC reported that he had instructed them to give him 20 after some soldiers had brought their guns with them to his office.