In an unusual break with discipline, a group of “Disgruntled” elite soldiers, who had been sent to quell bloody ethnic clashes on the capital’s outskirts, marched on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office Wednesday to protest low salaries, state-run Ethiopia News Agency reported.
The internet was shut down across Addis Ababa for hours after the troops, who appeared unarmed, arrived at Abiy’s compound close to parliament in the city centre.
Picked as prime minister by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, Abiy has pursued aggressive reforms since taking office.
The elite, red beret-wearing troops were deployed in southern Ethiopia in August following clashes between the largest ethnicity, the Oromos, and the Gedeo ethnic minority, which have displaced nearly one million people.
ENA says the soldiers involved in Wednesday’s incident had been deployed to Burayu, a suburb of Addis Ababa where at least 58 people were killed last month in fighting between the Oromo and other ethnic groups.