borkena, Ethiopia News
November 30, 3016
Professor Merera Gudina (pictured above), leader of Oromo Federalist Congress – one of the biggest opposition parties in Ethiopia, is arrested, reported Ethiopian Satellite Television in a breaking news update on its Facebook page.
He was arrested, apparently, today but there is no further detail as to why and where he is arrested.
He was dismissed from his professorial teaching position at Addis Ababa University, where he taught political science for well over two decades, last year in what seems to a politically motivated decision from the University Administration.
He was last seen to the Ethiopian public last month, just weeks into the state of emergency, during a discussion forum in Addis Ababa which was organized by a pro-government broadcaster, Fana. In the forum, Professor Merera was critical of the way the government handled the situation in Ethiopia.
When a high ranking government official criticized opposition parties, Merera responded: “People didn’t throw a stone against the opposition” to insinuate that the problem is with the ruling party. He was bold to tell the authorities that the government “failed the test.”
At the height of the popular movement which led to a state of emergency, ruling TPLF party making promises that it would open up the political space for opposition parties in the country.
Many seem to agree that Merera has an unwavering belief in peaceful struggle and he has been in it for more than two decades now. He travels to North America and Europe with an invitation from Ethiopians in the diaspora. Professor Merera was behind bars for about seven years during the military government of Mengistu Hailemariam. With a state of emergency still in effect, it is questionable if Merera will be released anytime soon.
The ruling party admitted that it has arrested more than eleven thousand Ethiopians after the state of emergency is declared in early October. It has also arrested journalists and activists after major crackdown to quell popular demand for change.
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