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Ethiopian PM reaches agreement with soldiers demanding pay rises - TV

FILE PHOTO: Ethiopia's prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, attends a rally during his visit to Ambo in the Oromiya region, Ethiopia April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

(reuters_tickers)

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reached an agreement on Wednesday with several hundred soldiers who had marched on his office to demand pay rises and were invited in to see him, state television (ETV) reported.

ETV said the meeting had ended with "an agreement", but did not give details of the outcome.

In addition to asking for pay rises, the soldiers asked Abiy to "review the structure and operations of the military", ETV said.

ETV also reported that the soldiers had been on a mission in Burayu, a town in the Oromiya region that borders the capital Addis Ababa, for the past several weeks following violence along ethnic lines there last month.

The station did not broadcast images of the soldiers marching. Residents reported that the internet was shut off for nearly three hours on Wednesday afternoon. ETV said it had been shut off to prevent fake news circulating on social media.

Abiy, 42, took office in April after several years of unrest forced his predecessor to resign. He has pledged to reform the security forces and promote multi-party democracy.

These changes are a shock to the system in Ethiopia, a country of more than 100 million people led with an iron fist since the EPRDF coalition that Abiy belongs to seized power in 1991.

(Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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