Addis Ababa is ready to celebrate Andargachew Tsige
May 28, 2018
British Embassy vehicles in Addis Ababa are reportedly seen in Kaliti, one of the notorious detention centers in Ethiopia, this morning.
Their presence at the gate of the prison is linked to the release of Ethiopia’s popular opposition leader Andargachew Tsige who is expected to be released today.
Andargachew’s family live in the United Kingdom.
Activists and supporters have been making spectacular preparations in the capital Addis Ababa to celebrate Andargachew Tsige as he walks out of prison where he was held for more than four years now. Images emerging on social media seem to show that the celebration of Andargachew’s release or Andargachew himself is secular and much more colorful than the government’s holiday, perhaps one possible reason why the authorities are delaying his release.
Ethiopia’s government attorney general announced last week that the government has pardoned Andargachew Tsige and that he will be released in a “special condition.” But it is not clear as to what the “special condition” means. What is known is that there are rumors that government might compel Andargachew to fly to London directly without allowing him to say in his parent’s place in the capital, where he grew up.
Author of “Netsanetin Yemayawuk Netsaawuchi”, translates to “freedom fighters with no clue about freedom”, the most acclaimed critic of the men in power who once considered themselves as “freedom fighters”, Andargachew dared to challenge the ruthless rule of Tigrian People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) government. In what seems to be a deliberate psychological game the regime is poised to release Andargachew Tsige on the very day they declared a victory day in Ethiopia (May 28).
At the age of sixty, he left behind his family in the United Kingdom and headed to the wilderness of Eritrean desert to organize rebel forces to bring about democratic change in Ethiopia.
Andargachew was sentenced to death in absentia well before he was abducted at Sana’a international airport by Yemeni security forces in 2014 and was handed over to the TPLF government same day.
Ethiopians in the UK and other cities in Europe and North America have been protesting the abduction of Andargachew Tsige and demanding his release.
The UK government, which is believed to be one of the strong western allies of the regime in power in Ethiopia, was under pressure from Ethiopians for not doing enough for the release of Andargachew who has a British citizenship.
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