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HomeNewsEthiopia : Gov't arrested family members of Battee Urgessa

Ethiopia : Gov’t arrested family members of Battee Urgessa

Battee Urgessa _ Ethiopian News
Battee Urgessa (Photo source : BBC Amharic)


Toronto – Government authorities reportedly arrested family members of slain senior Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) leader Battee Urgessa.  

BBC Amharic, on Friday, said family members and others are in custody in connection with his killing. The government initially made claims that he was killed by “unidentified gunmen.”

His siblings –  Simbo Urgessa (sister) and Millo Urgessa (brother) – were arrested on Thursday but his sister was released on the same day while his brother remains in custody – according to the source. A family member who spoke to BBC Amharic on condition of anonymity said that the family members were arrested after Battee Urgessa was laid to rest on Thursday.  They were suspected of his killing. His sister was in custody for hours before she was released. 

The funeral took place in Meki – where he was born and grew up, and where he was killed too. He was taken from a hotel where he was staying around 12: 20 a.m. – and killed near a dumping area about two kilometers from Meki town. 

BBC cited Dilbo Urgessa, Mayor of Meki town, as saying that Bette was probably killed due to a family feud. However, other local sources indicate that Bette was taken from his hotel by government forces who were using a military-style vehicle.  Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) pointed fingers at the government. State actors in the West – including the U.S. and UK – are pushing for an “independent” investigation into the death of the politician. 

Mohammed Sufa, a police commander in Meki, is cited as saying the arrest of his brother was necessary as “there was a talk on social media that the deceased conflicted with his brother.” 

The source also indicated that East Shoa Zone Police on Wednesday this week arrested 13 individuals. 

Milo Urgessa, who is in custody in connection with his brother’s death has been informing media outlets that government forces are responsible for the killing of Batte.  He is also cited as saying that Meki town claims that the death of his brothers could be because of a family feud, something that the government is using to cover up the crime. 

The regional government released a statement earlier this week saying that it is unacceptable that some are making the government responsible for the death of Battee. 


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