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HomeEthiopian NewsParliamentarian from Amhara region missing for nearly a week 

Parliamentarian from Amhara region missing for nearly a week 

Habtamu Belayneh _ Amhara
Habtamu Belayneh (Photo : from VOA Amharic)

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Toronto – Habtamu Belayneh, member of Amhara Regional Council and Member of the House of Federation, has reportedly been missing since Friday last week.  The politician is a member of National Movement of Amhara (NaMA).

According to a VOA Amharic report, published on Wednesday, Mr. Habtamu did not return home since he left his residence last Friday. It was a “close friend” who told the source about it. 

It is also said that he was seen in his office in Arat Kilo on Friday morning. However, his phone was turned off after 11 : 00 a.m. in the morning. His friends and family have been searching for him since then but his whereabouts are unknown yet, according to the source.  They have contacted police headquarter in the capital Addis Ababa and other places “where they detain people,” as his friend told VOA Amharic. Federal police is notified with written letter about the disappearance of the Mr. Habtamu. The source said it contacted Jelan Abdi, Federal Police Public Relation Head. He told the source “I do not have information about it.”

Abiy Ahmed’s ruling party has been pursuing a repressing policy against dissenting voices for several years now after his government lost legitimacy due to his government inability to maintain law and order in the country – among other factors.  

Journalists, human rights activists and politicians – some of them members of parliament have been thrown to jail unlawfully – especially in the past year or so. Days after imposing a state of emergency legislation in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, Christian Tadele, a member of parliament and chairperson of the Parliamentary standing committee for audit, was dragged from his home in the presence of his family members, including spouse, beaten and taken to prison. His parliamentary immunity was not even lifted.  Kassa Teshager, a member of Addis Ababa city council, is another example of unlawful arrest under the guise of the state of emergency legislation. He was arrested before his immunity was lifted. 

Habtamu Belayneh is the first parliamentarian to be reported missing. Amhara region – where he is from – has been under state of emergency since August of this year in connection with the Fano forces armed struggle to reverse “existential threats against Amhara people.” Tens of thousands of ethnic Amhara civilians have been massacred in the Oromia region of Ethiopia since Abiy Ahmed took power but his government has been linking the killing to the group it calls – OLF-Shane. The group calls itself the Oromo Liberation Army. 

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