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HomeNewsEthiopian Gov't Detains 50 in Addis Ababa alleging "Terrorist Activity"

Ethiopian Gov’t Detains 50 in Addis Ababa alleging “Terrorist Activity”

Ethiopian government made allegations that the “suspect group” was using the Orthodox Church as a hiding place  

Government Security Task force made claims that it recovered these firearms from those arrested on alleged “terrorist activity” (Photo : ENA)

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The Ethiopian government on Tuesday announced that it has arrested 50 individuals in the capital Addis Ababa. The National Security and Intelligence Task Force – a body over which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is said to have total control – made claims that it has been following the “terrorists” for over five months now and took measures as they started to engage in coordinated operation.

“Fifty suspects who have been clandestinely operating to undertake armed violence and chaos in the capital Addis Ababa and nearby areas are arrested,” said the statement from the Task Force.  

On the one hand, the Taskforce says it has been following up the “clandestine group” for about five months now. On the other hand, it says, the group has been operating in the Amhara region to make the region the “center of violence and chaos,” and the attempt in Addis Ababa is made after the Defense Force, Amhara region security and Federal government foiled its plan in the Amhara region. The task force was also explicit in linking the individuals from the latest arrest in Addis Ababa to the Fano Movement – particularly to the Fano group under Eskinder Nega – who used to be a prominent journalist and prisoner of concise.

Ethiopian gov't new arrest
Some of the residents of those arrested under alleged “terrorist activity”

As of now, there is no indication from other sources if the fighting between government forces and Fano forces is concluded. There are reports of continued fighting in most parts of the Amhara region of Ethiopia. 

Also, the statement from the Task Force made claims that the “Clandestine group that came under arrest” made Addis Ababa and Minjar Shenkora area of Amhara region and prepared a “special armed group” and worked in coordination to make “Addis Ababa and Oromia region nearby areas to make them centers of violence and chaos.” 

Abiy Ahmed’s government also implicated the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the alleged plot. It said “The group [the alleged  terrorist group] used some Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers whom it thought would create conducive conditions for its organizational pattern.” 

Apart from Ethiopian Orthodox Church, government implicated three Ethiopians living in the United States. Messay Mekonnen, who is the founder and managing director of Anchor media, Habtamu Ayalew – activist and analyst with 360 media, and Major Dawit Wolde Giorgis are implicated. 

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has not yet remarked on the allegations. When Prime Abiy Ahmed met with Ethiopian Orthodox Church leaders which he initiated ( it took place in the office of the Prime Minister) last week, he accused the church of training armies in the monasteries nearby Addis Ababa. 

As was the case in many other arrests the government made in the past, the government claimed that it seized and displayed firearms and cash ( including bank notes of other hard currencies). 

In December 2023, the Ethiopian government confirmed the arrest of over 1000 in the capital Addis Ababa after a human rights group reported arbitrary and unlawful arrest in Addis Ababa. 

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