Ethiopian Satellite television broke out confirmed news of release of Bekele Gerba, Deputy Chairman of Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement Congress in its today news edition.
Bekele Gerba has been in notorious jails of the ruling party in Ethiopia since 2011 and released earlier today after serving full terms of the sentence.
Bekele Gerba was thrown to jail on charges of terrorism seemingly trumped up on the basis of numerous other charges against citizens involved either in human rights or political activism. In Ethiopia, Anti-terrorism charge does seem more like a “legal strategy” to thwart legal rights written in what is now appearing like a nominal constitution.
The specific charge against Bekele Geraba was clandestine relation with Oromo Liberation Front – now a diaspora based political entity – which the government outlawed following the honeymoon years after the collapse of the military regime in 1991. Last week, Ethiopian government ordered Lencho Letta,one of the founders of OLF and who was in the country leading a delegates of Oromo Democratic Forum which was formed about two years ago not very long after Lencho Leta reportedly quit from Oromo liberation Front, to leave Ethiopia soon after he returned to Ethiopia.
ESAT did spoke to Bekele Gerba on the phone. “I can’t say that I have done much but I have done what I could” , said Bekele in a calm tone. Bekele taught at Addis Ababa University before his incarceration. Yet he was very famous for his outstanding remark during the televised election debate a year before he was incriminated and more so for the speech he made at the court after the “guilt verdict.”
From what has been written about him so far and from few of his insightful speeches,Bekele Gerba, as a politician and personally,seem to be rather interested in an Ethiopia where the rights of all Ethiopians including the Oromos is respected as opposed to a radical secessionist ethnic ideology which entities like OLF espoused for well over four decades now.
It is not clear at this point as to what Bekele Gerba’s political move is and as to whether he will be reinstated to his faculty position at Addis Ababa University.