By Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopia's new prime minister on Wednesday visited Ambo town -- 125 kilometers west of the capital Addis Ababa -- which is a stronghold of the Qero movement, an uprising of Oromo youth demanding greater representation in the government.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 300,000, Abiy Ahmed Ali called on his people to work in unison for the development of democracy in the country.
He called on citizens to work hard while pledging to address the grievances the Oromo youths have been expressing over the past years.
“The people of Ambo have always stood up for change; now it is time for the people to direct their attention towards peace and development,” he said.
He underlined what he described as a need for the people to get over the past and concentrate attention on problem solving.
He called on the intelligentsia to contribute to national development through researches that focus on problem solving.
Numerous federal and regional officials accompanied the new prime minister who arrived in Ambo as part of his nationwide travels aimed at pacifying and unifying the country.
A traditional cavalry group staged a warm and spectacular welcome to Abiy.
Ambo city Mayor Beriso Ameno said the visit will be instrumental in inspiring national consensus and unity, according to local media reports.
Community representatives from 22 districts also attended the address.
Last week, he visited the Somali Regional State in an effort to make peace between the Somali and Oromo people who had clashed along the common border, causing displacement of tens of thousands of people and the death of hundreds.