Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomeEthiopian NewsEthiopian gov't arrest 97 including politicians, Labels Anti-War Peaceful Protest as "Terrorism"

Ethiopian gov’t arrest 97 including politicians, Labels Anti-War Peaceful Protest as “Terrorism”

Ethiopia new arrest

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Ethiopia’s “Joint Security Task Force,” established in the context of the state of emergency under the Prime Minister’s leadership, announced on Thursday that it thwarted a plot aiming to turn Addis Ababa into a center of “turmoil and violence.” The Joint Task Force – whose members are drawn from the military, security, and government executives – alleged the receipt of a terrorist mission orchestrated by certain groups – implicating Fano and Shene forces. 

Furthermore, it asserted the arrest of 97 individuals “clandestinely” involved in orchestrating this alleged mission. This disclosure coincided with reports of arrests of coordinators of an Anti-War peaceful demonstration in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Citing a statement from the task force, the Ethiopian News Agency, a state-owned media outlet, reported that those apprehended are linked to “terrorist groups” in the Amhara and Oromia regions.

The planned demonstration garnered substantial coverage from Ethiopian news outlets based in the country and abroad. Organizers had duly notified the Addis Ababa City Administration Security Division 12 days ahead of the event, as the Ethiopian Constitution requires notification of the event to relevant government authorities 48 hours before the event. However, the City Administration banned the peaceful demonstration, citing “security concerns amid the current national situation.”

Six months ago, Abiy Ahmed’s administration initiated a military operation in the Amhara region, under the pretext of disarming the Fano movement. Initially planned for two weeks, the government’s efforts to dismantle the Fano movement escalated to drone strikes and artillery shelling, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians, as confirmed by Human Rights Organizations. And it took more than six months. 

The Ethiopian government’s Joint Security Task Force further claimed an endeavor to “infiltrate armed groups into Addis Ababa” and reported that it seized firearms. It implicates the Anti-War peaceful protest and its organizers, indirectly accusing the planned peaceful demonstration participants affiliated with various opposition political parties.

Moreover, the task force alleged that the intention was to target innocent civilians under the guise of a peaceful protest.

“The Government must ensure the rule of law in Addis Ababa and across the nation, and the Joint Task Force is taking decisive actions,” The Task Force was cited as saying. 

It also noted that random searches were conducted in Addis Ababa and the arrest of what it called  “collaborators” working with “anti-peace forces,” confirming recent reports of a widespread crackdown in the city.

Amidst the ongoing conflict in the Amhara region following a devastating two-year war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and ongoing fighting against the insurgency movement by radical ethnic Oromo nationalist forces in the Oromia region, the organizers of the Anti-War peaceful demonstration expressed their belief that Ethiopia can no longer afford to be in war.  The humanitarian disaster from the war is extensive with reports of hundreds of civilian deaths. They planned to demand the government end the war and resort to peaceful negotiation. The government calls their move ” a terrorist plan to create turmoil and violence in Addis Ababa. 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Who are those arrested? Do they have names? Which group or party they belong to? Such arbitrary arrests and making individuals disappear in thin air do not seem to leave that country since 1974. But never saved a seating regime’s life. Lesson never learned in Africa, I guess.

    My doubts and fears are now being validated with the detention of these individuals. There has always been on-going ‘what ifs’ in my mind since 2018. I hope the PM will resign because it seems he is becoming more and more of a lightening rod for vocal groups left and right. It looks he is overwhelmed and things are beyond his ability to handle them effectively. The conflict in Oromia is getting closer and closer to the capital with ruffians running around unchecked in the region. They are killing anyone in their sight whenever they feel like it. They are killing every ethnic group at random. Another armed group in the 2nd largest region in the country, Amhara, seems to be a matter of time before it overruns every major town over there. With these two regions going belly up, your guess would be just as good as mine for what may follow. My daily prayer is, since peace negotiations with the rebel group have fallen flat on their face, the leaders of the two groups will suddenly get awakened by the Grace of The Almighty Our Creator and start talking. I believe in miracles especially miracles for that gem of the colored.

    In the meantime, I call upon those here among us who are qualified lawyers to look into the use of drones by the regime in which scores of civilians are killed and see if that qualifies as a crime against humanity. If it does, make noise at the halls of The Hague, UN and the ruling parties of Western nations. I am not talking about holding demonstrations because these have not been effective. I want you to seek audience with officials in the country of your residence and present your case convincingly. I have been hearing from my own merchant relatives that innocent civilians are being victimized by bombs raining unexpectedly on top of them by drones hovering over their heads way up in the distant skies. Even healthcare facilities are reported to have been targeted where providers and patients were killed in both Oromia and Amhara regions. It is terrorizing innocent civilians. You know what happens when civilians are terrorized. They will stop tending their farms and work places which lead to serious lack of food and exposure to deadly diseases. Malaria, dengue and cholera are killing scores of people throughout the country already. Now people have started dying from starvation already. Things are not boding well for the current regime. It may be time for another person to come in and try to cool things down. The previous PM Hailemarium was bold and dignified enough to excuse himself and pass the baton. This does not mean some with his stinking boot to come in and act like a savior. No sir! Not 1974 again!!!

  2. On a different news topic, there has been a series of earthquakes right on the fault line that runs through Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The initial tremor was reported in uninhabited area within the territory of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden 5 days ango and there have been numerous after shocks every day since then. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia are situated right there on major tectonic fault line and it is a matter of time before a big one hits heavily populated area. I am not sure if the regimes of these countries even think about it. The first of this one was registered at 5.6 on the Richter scale on December 3, 2023 followed by several moderate after shocks every day since then. Imagine a 5.6 earth quake strikes beneath Addis/Finfine, Mogadishu, Asmara, Djibouti or any other heavily populated cities in these countries. I’m not sure if these countries have any plan of attack if that happens. Let’s pray that will never happen.

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