Hundreds of thousands of residents of Addis Ababa staged a demonstration at Meskel Square on Sunday (September 1), strongly opposing radicalism and condemning fundamentalism and terrorism.
The demonstration which was called by the Inter-Religious Council was attended by nearly one million residents from Addis Ababa's ten sub-cities. The demonstrators, waving Ethiopian flags and chanting slogans denouncing religious extremism, vowed to defend the Constitution and fight against extremists operating under the guise of religion: "Extremism is the sign of frustration"; "Our Constitution is the guarantee of our religion"; "Our constitution shall not be dismantled by acts of fundamentalism"; "we plead with the Government to take action on fundamentalists and terrorists"; "we want peace and peace only", and many other messages reflecting a popular resolve to fight back against terrorism and fundamentalism.
A statement by representatives of the Inter-Religious Council hs asserted that the massive turnout was a testimony to the desire of the people to maintain the country's age-old tradition of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence. The Council has six members, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, the Ethiopian Catholic Church, the Ethiopian Adventist Church, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus and the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia.