The members of Ethiopian parliament whose parliamentary immunity is removed are from Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) ; includes chairman of the organization and Tigray region’s president
November 12, 2020
The Ethiopian Parliament on Thursday voted to remove the immunity of 39 parliamentarians who are members and leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)
The decision will affect key TPLF leaders including Debretsion Gebremichael, chairman of the organization, and president of Tigray regional state.
Chala Lemi, deputy state minister, tabled the agenda in the parliament saying that parliamentarians whose immunity was needed to be removed have committed treason of the highest order. They are engaged in armed activity against the constitution and the constitutional order with an objective to disintegrate Ethiopia.
The TPLF leaders are also accused of attacking the bases northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force. Survivors from the unexpected TPLF attack said that the attack happened on November 4 around 10:00 p.m. local time. Multiples of military bases in the region were attacked at the same time. Brigadier General Mulualem Admasu, Commander of the 5th Division of the Northern Command, which was near Humera, and his forces came out of the siege after three days.
On October 5, 2020, TPLF leadership passed a decision calling for members of parliament who are from the TPLF party, and those who are holding other Federal government positions to resign from their position and report to Tigray regional state which is run by the TPLF. The decision was based on grounds that the mandate of the parliament and the federal government came to an end on the same day.
It was basically defiance of the June 2020 Ethiopian Upper House decision to extend the mandates of the regional and federal house of representative as the elections planned to take place in August 2020 was postponed due to the coronavirus situation in the country. TPLF rejected that and organized an election in late August in Tigray region which the upper house of the Ethiopian Parliament outlawed.
The TPLF has been displaying extensive militarism in the Tigray region since the 45th-anniversary celebration of the organization. Federal government apparently used the inauguration of development projects in the capital to respond to the military rhetoric of TPLF leaders. However, the outbreak of the war last week was unexpected. The war evidently started on November 4 after the TPLF attacked the northern bases. The number of soldiers killed is still undisclosed. Some social media sources indicate that hundreds of Ethiopian soldiers were killed in the attack.
Abiy Ahmed’s government is intensifying what he calls a campaign to enforce the rule of law and to bring TPLF leaders responsible for the attack, whose parliamentary immunity is removed, to justice. On Thursday this week, the prime minister claimed a decisive victory in “western Tigray.”
Supporters of TPLF have organized a protest in the United States, Washington DC, this week condemning Abiy Ahmed and his administration. They said he is a dictator and that the war in northern Ethiopia is being waged “against the people of Tigray” – something that the Ethiopian government denies.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian state media, EBC, reported that the council of ministers approved regulations for the “transitional Tigray regional state administration.” It will be answerable to the Federal government.
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