We Don’t Allow Toto Tours to Enter Our City-Mayor of Addis Ababa

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In a discussion with Ethiopian Orthodox church, the mayor of Addis Ababa, Engineer Takele Uma said, “The law of heaven states ‘a man is for a woman.’ We actively follow this law. Therefore, we won’t allow anything contrary to that law to enter our city.” In the past couple of weeks, Ethiopians have been expressing their anger over the US-based gay travel company, launching international gay tour plans to visit cultural and religious places of Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s religious leaders last week urged the government to block the company from touring the country’s ancient sites, and one group warned visiting homosexuals could face violence.

The mayor’s speech gave some relief for the religious leaders attending in the discussion. People tweeted over his speech expressed their happiness; one of them wrote “great speech from the mayor of Addis! This speech touches the hearts of millions and makes them delightful. Thank you for your committed thought.”

On the other hand, Dan Ware, the president of Toto Tours in an email to AFP last week said: “[our company] had been misunderstood, this company is not aimed at spreading values contrary to local cultures when we travel around the world.” He added, “The tour takes place in October, “the eyes of the entire world will be on the people of Ethiopia to see what happens to us.”

In another issue, the mayor stated his city administration determination to address the rise of the city crime. International organizations such as AU and UN including several embassies were expressing their growing concern over the deteriorating security situation in the capital city.