The Ethiopian government’s Joint Security Task Force announced the arrest of Taye Dendea, the former State Minister for Peace, who was sacked by the Ethiopian Prime Minister.
A statement from the State of Emergency Body was sent to state-owned media outlets confirming the arrest.
On Monday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Taye Dendea shared his dismissal letter from the Prime Minister on social media. The letter, lacking specific reasons for the dismissal, thanked him for his past contributions and stated his removal from his role in the Ministry of Peace effective December 11, 2023.
In an interview with BBC Oromo language service, Taye mentioned that the Prime Minister didn’t contact him before sending the dismissal letter. The same day, Taye took to his Facebook page, accusing the Prime Minister of cruelty who plays with innocent civilians’ blood. He claimed his removal stemmed from advocating for peace. Earlier, he criticized the government for banning an Anti-War Demonstration planned for December 10, 2023, holding government officials responsible. Taye previously blamed the government, of which he was a part, for the failure of the Tanzania Peace Talk between the Federal government and the “Oromo Liberation Front” (OLA).
Sources report Taye’s arrest occurred in the evening hours of Monday after he exposed the Prime Minister’s alleged involvement in the country’s bloodshed.
The government’s claim behind Taye’s arrest is connected to a coup plot, as stated by the Security and Intelligence Joint Task Force. The Task Force alleged that Taye collaborated with anti-peace forces, working to destabilize Ethiopia while holding a government position in the Ministry of Peace. Also, the task force accused Taye of clandestine communication with these forces, aiming to violently overthrow the government.
Moreover, the task force accused Taye of involvement in the “killings of innocent civilians and kidnappings in many parts of the country.” The statement also referred to Taye’s recent social media messages labeling them as “anti-peace and negative,” after he anticipated his potential arrest.
Taye’s residence was searched, with claims made by the government of seized firearms and electronic devices, as illustrated in the picture shared by the Task Force, showing a laptop, iPad, flash memory stick, and vehicle license plate numbers, among other items. It also made claims that it had arrested one Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) who “was hiding in his residence.”
It remains unclear if Taye Dendea will appear in court anytime soon.
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