ADDIS ABEBA – Members of parliament have urged security officials to protect the public’s safety fortnights after deadly protests claimed at least 86 people.
Foreign relation and peace affairs standing committee of parliament has heard the three-month performance report of the Ministry of Peace on Wednesday.
The debate, however, was mainly centered on the increasing violence and crimes in parts of the country.
Members of the committee said organized criminals are putting the public’s safety and property at risk.
Chairperson of the standing committee, Tesfaye Daba has sent a cautionary message to the ministry’s officials and police to apprehend “the masterminds of the crimes working day and night to devour the country”.
“These criminals are threatening our constitutional system and putting national unity at risk,” said Tesfaye without getting into specifics.
The chairperson insisted on “the need to take bold decisions and employ the necessary effort to seize criminals who are troubling the public”.
Federal police commissioner Endeshaw Tasew admitted the presence of security risks posed by the recent unrests as well as increasing crimes in the country.
He, however, said lack of coordination and cooperation from government officials have become major challenges to tackle the situation.
Endeshaw said various politicians, religious institutions and elites are hampering the process of apprehending criminals to face justice.
“We don’t need any external involvement for doing our jobs,” he continued. “People should know that we don’t have any political intention while carrying out our duties.”
The commissioner also insisted the federal police are continually exerting their efforts to guarantee rule of law in the country.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed urged Ethiopians to resist forces threatening to impede the country’s progress, after violence last month claimed lives and destroyed properties.
Police said 409 people have been arrested in connection with the violence and the trouble has subsided.
By Sisay Sahlu