Ethiopia charged five OLF operatives with terrorism over PM assassination attempt

Prosecutor linked five suspects from June 23 attack to Oromo Liberation Front and charged them with terrorism.

Terrorism _ Abiy Ahmed
PM Abiy during the June 23 rally in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia charged five Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) operatives linked to an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during a rally on June 23 at Meskel Square in the capital Addis Ababa.

According to VOA Amharic service report, the suspects are identified as Getu Girma, Berhanu Jafar, Tilahun Getachew, Bahru Tolla and Desalegne Tesfaye, and they are facing terrorism charges.
“The suspects have fully and actively participated in the crime with the intent to launch an attack [killing] on prime minister Abiy Ahmed,” the Federal prosecutor is cited as saying.
The defendants are granted ten days to prepare for their defense hearing.

What was the motivation for the assassination attempt?

Apparently, politics.

Charge detail by the federal prosecutor says that the attack was planned in a way to be carried out by Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which is a radical ethno-nationalist group, operatives.

Political motivation of the suspects is that “there should not be a government led by Dr. Abiy Ahmed,” as it is, they believed, working to achieve its own goal in the name of “popular government” while his government not popular in Oromo region of Ethiopia

The operatives, and by extension those groups who coordinated the attack, believe that OLF is the party that should govern the country.

The attacker plotted the attempted assassination in Sululta, outside of Addis Ababa, while the directives and coordination work was planned in Kenya. ESAT report says the mastermind who resides in Kenya is identified as Genet Tamru but it is not clear if the Ethiopian government is working on her extradition to Ethiopia.

However, the prosecutor has mentioned that there are suspects who are not arrested yet.

Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has not yet remarked on the issue at this writing.

2 people were killed and more than 160 were wounded during the attack on June 23, 2016.



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