(Addis Ababa, Aigaforum 04/17/09):- Leaders, members and supporters of opposition party, Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ) held a successful demonstration on behalf of their convicted leader Birtukan Mideksa.
According to our reports around 2:50 pm (local time) there were between 250 to 280 demonstrators chanting “free our leader, “tagay yemotal enji tegel ayferesm” (an activist will die but the struggle lives on), and free Birtukan and stop gender discrimination!
Dr Negasso former president of Ethiopia, Bulcha Demkessa and producers of Addis Neger private paper were some of the notables at the demonstration. While Dr Negasso attended the demonstration from beginning to end, Ato Bulcha was there only at the end of the demonstration for some 10-15 minutes.
The demonstrators were able to march from the President’s office to PM office without any disturbance. Demonstrators were carrying the Ethiopian flag as well as the usual old guard flag which the constitution does not recognize as a legal flag. People were wearing UDJ blue T-shirt chanting Ethiopia is an island of Christians!
Sources informed us Engineer Gizachew and Dr Hailu as well as Asrat Tase were able to present their complaints to PM Meles office. Dr Yacob was seen leaving half way into the demonstration!
Although the family of Birtukan Mideksa is hoping the demonstration will yield some positive result some of the demonstrators were not that hopeful.
Sources told us many of the participants were happy that the Government allowed them to demonstrate which helped them to highlight their cause to the international audience; they were not that hopeful things will change for Birtukan. They think the demonstration has helped them to relieve the burden off their shoulder.