The turn of events in Ethiopia related to the political situation in the country is astounding. On December 10, Ethiopia’s State Minister for Peace, Taye Dendea, made remarks criticizing the Ethiopian government for banning anti-war demonstrations, stating that it would tarnish the government’s image concerning promises made to the public upon taking power and on constitutional grounds. On December 11, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed terminated Taye as State Minister for Peace in a two-line letter, thanking him for his contributions. On December 13, the government announced Taye’s arrest for alleged collaboration with what the government calls “radical forces” and “terrorists” plotting to topple the government.
However, the situation did not end there. On December 14, Taye Dendea’s wife and his entire family were evicted from government housing. Security forces appeared at Taye’s house, where he had lived for four years with his family, including his mother, and issued a three-day eviction notice.
Sintayehu Alemayehu, Taye Dendea’s wife, confirmed the story to VOA Amharic service. She stated that personnel from the government housing agency and police officers arrived on Tuesday this week and gave her a three-day eviction notice. If the house was not vacated within three days, she was informed that all furniture and belongings would be moved to a storage facility at her expense, according to the VOA Amharic report. On Wednesday, she was already evicted.
Soon after, Sintayehu and her family were forcefully evicted, and the house was sealed before she managed to retrieve the family’s belongings. His two children and other family members, displaced from Taye’s birthplace due to conflict, had been living in the house. Taye had been living in the government-provided housing for four years.
The source cited that government housing agency authorities did not remark on it. Taye has been under Federal Police custody since he was detained earlier this week and did not appear before court.
An online GoFundMe effort has been launched to support Taye Dendea’s family, with the organizers seemingly based in the Diaspora. The fundraising seems to be motivated by altruistic motives.
Taye’s Political Points
In the weeks preceding Taye’s arrest, he had been making critical remarks about the government. The Ministry for Peace was not invited to participate in any of the peace talks held by the Ethiopian government, neither in connection with the negotiations that ended the two-year war with TPLF nor in the recent negotiation with the militant Oromo Nationalist Group that calls itself “Oromo Liberation Army” (OLA).
Besides, Taye Dendea accused the Federal government of being a cause for the failure of the peace talks in Tanzania, where the government was in discussions with OLA. Taye made strong accusations against the government, claiming that Abiy Ahmed’s government lacks interest in peace. In response to the dismissal letter from the Prime Minister, he described the “Nobel Peace Prize Winner” Prime Minister as a ruthless individual who plays with bloods of innocent people.
The Ethiopian government banned peaceful demonstrations in the capital, Addis Ababa, six months after declaring a state of emergency in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, where government soldiers are said to have committed extensive human rights abuses, including rape and extrajudicial executions.
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