Ethiopian born Saudi billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi,who is said to be in a Saudi Arabia maximum security prison after he was caught in November of 2017 along with high ranking government officials and royal families in connection with alleged corruption, could soon be released.
It was prime minister Abiy Ahmed who broke the news when he was speaking to a big crowd at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa soon after his arrival from a two days state visit to Saudi Arabia. However, he did not spell out the time frame as to how soon the Al Amoudi will be released and be back to Ethiopia. He is believed to have nearly US $3 billion business empire in Ethiopia and one of the most lucrative business was a gold mine in Lege Dembi whose mining license was suspended by Ethiopian government a fortnight ago following relentless protest from residents in the area on grounds of environmental pollution. Government is to conduct environmental impact assessment study before renewing the license again.
As well, Abiy disclosed that he negotiated with Saudi princes for the release of Ethiopian prisoners from prisons across the Islamic Kingdom. As per the negotiation, and based on the words of the prime minister, about 1000 Ethiopians of whom 900 are men and the rest of them women will be released. So far more than 800 prisoners are released.
It is to be remembered that Abiy Ahmed initiated similar negotiations with the government of Sudan and the government of Kenya when he was visiting the two countries in the last two weeks and secured the release of over two thousand Ethiopian prisoners.
While the effort to secure the release of Ethiopians from prisons in different countries is commended in the opposition quarter as constructive and positive step from the new prime minister, his administration is criticized for the latency of the release of prominent and selfless Ethiopian patriot like Andargachew Tsige who was abducted by the Ethiopian government while in transit in Yemen.
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