Leaders of AG7 movement including former Becknell University professor Berhanu Nega announced today that they are poised to return to Ethiopia within a month.
Leaders of Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 (AG7), a rebel movement which the Ethiopian government listed as a terrorist organization until the federal parliament decided to take the name of the organization of the list of terrorist organizations recently, announced in a press conference called today in Washington DC that all the leadership of the organization will return to Ethiopia within a month time.
Chairman of the party, Berhanu Nega, who was once a professor of economics in Becknell University, Andargachew Tsige, secretary of the movement who was jailed in Ethiopia for over four years after he was abducted in Yemen and handed over to Ethiopian government in 2014, and Ephrem Madebo attended the press conference.
Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 was formed three years ago and is a coalition two rebel groups based in Eritrea. Ginbot 7 was founded in 2008 by Dr. Birhanu Nega and Andargachew Tsige.
The decision to return to Ethiopia within a month came following a meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and senior members of his government who were in a visit to the United States to meet with Ethiopians in three US cities. The task of returning rebel fighters in Eritrea to a normal life, the release of all prisoners in Ethiopia in connection with AG 7 movement and independent institutions, like Election board for example, in the country were among the points of discussion between the party leaders and Prime minister Abiy Ahmed.
Asked if it was not risky, apparently from a personal security point of view, for the party leaders to return to Ethiopia at this time, they replied that understand the risk posed by counter-reform forces who used to be at the core of the establishment (and these forces are believed to have a connection within the security apparatus including intelligence) but they cannot avoid returning to Ethiopia so as to avoid personal risks.
The leaders also unveiled plans in terms of next of as far as their political work, as an opposition group, is concerned. They intend to form a unity with other opposition groups with national agenda in the country. There was already a talk that AG 7 discussed a merger plan with Semayawi party, one of the notable opposition parties in Ethiopia.
The ongoing change in the country is not a matter of win or loses, for leaders of AG 7. It is rather an opportunity to transform the country into a democracy.
AG 7 also vows to work with all forces change to ensure that the ongoing reform and change in the country is not reversed. The party also called upon all Ethiopians to work towards to defend the changes in the country.
Cover photo : screenshot from ESAT video
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typo – of the list is not the same as OFF the list
Give them security protection, let them run in elections, and they can finally forgotten after Abiy’s landslide victory.