Voice of Protest Amid Eid Celebrations in Ethiopia


Abbay Media News
Yassin Ibrahim

Muslim in Ethiopia celebrated Eid Al Adha (Arafa) on Friday September 1, 2017 with the rest of the muslims on the globe. Eid Al Adha is one of the three islamic holidays celebrated annually and falls about 2 months and 10 days after Eid Al Fitr, the biggest religious holiday after a month of fasting.

While the faithful were busy celebrating the Eid the government of Ethiopia that feel insecure whenever masses gather placed its military special force and the police on the streets surrounding mosques in most major towns. In the capital city Addis Ababa, the celebrants of Anwar has to go through checkpoints where security forces stopped and frisked them.


In the eastern town of Dire Dawa the mayor addressing the crowd was interrupted from the start by people chanting and showing the hand sign of resistance. They faithful crowd shouted “Dimtsachin Yisema’ and raised crossed arms. “Dimtsachin Yisema” is translated in English as “Our voice be heard’ or “hear our voice’ and is also the name of the movement for freedom of religion by Ethiopian muslims protesting against the government’s interference and control of religious institutions.

There has always been tension and police presence during Eid celebrations and this is the fourth consecutive time the muslims in Dire Dawa voiced their protest.  But this time a couple things were observed:

  1. the program ended at 7am, an hour earlier than the usual time of 8 am and
  2. the tensions and worries were visible on the faces of the event organizers.