Ethiopian Opposition Claims Activist Killed While Campaigning – By Jason McLure (Bloomberg)

April 22nd, 2010 Print Print Email Email

An Ethiopian opposition activist was beaten to death by pro-government militia in the western part of the country after he refused to stop campaigning for his party before May 23 elections, an opposition leader said. (more…)

An Ethiopian opposition activist was beaten to death by pro-government militia in the western part of the country after he refused to stop campaigning for his party before May 23 elections, an opposition leader said.

Beyanza Deba was killed while campaigning for the Oromo Federalist Congress, part of Ethiopia’s Medrek opposition alliance, near the western town of Ambo when four members of a militia aligned with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling party beat him on April 7, said Merara Gudina, a member of parliament and chairman of the OFC. He died of his injuries on April 16 after being hospitalized in the capital, Addis Ababa.

“He died campaigning,” Merara said in a phone interview today from Harar in eastern Ethiopia. “This is the militia of the government trying to block rural campaigning.”

Communications Minister Bereket Simon said the allegation was false and that the government could produce documents showing that Beyanza was in fact a member of the pro-Meles Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.

Bereket also accused the opposition of fabricating human rights violations so as to discredit next month’s poll.

“He was sick and he died,” Bereket said in a phone interview today. The opposition is “smearing the campaign, using any person who is dead” for their own purposes, he said.


Last month, Aregawi Gebrey-Yohannes, a Medrek parliamentary candidate, was stabbed to death in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. A man was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in a domestic court for that killing. The government has said Aregawi’s homicide was non-political, though opposition leaders said it was part of a campaign of harassment and intimidation by Meles’s party.

“It’s widespread, it’s across Oromiya, it’s across other regions,” said Merara.

Earlier this month, Bekele Jirata, another Oromo opposition leader, was sentenced to 13 years in jail in absentia after being tried on charges of supporting the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front. Birtukan Mideksa, another Medrek leader, remains in jail under a life sentence after being tried for treason following Ethiopia’s 2005 vote. That year at least 193 demonstrators were killed by security forces loyal to Meles in the wake of the disputed election.

–Editors: Paul Richardson, Philip Sanders.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason McLure in Addis Ababa via Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at

  1. mateos
    | #1

    The report should have red: THE OPPOSITION KILLED ANOTHER INNOCENT ETHIOPIAN! First, after nearly 20 years in power and distroying what makes an Ethiopian fabric for reasons that are only known to Meles/Abebe/Legesse/Mathza and his boss Bereket why should anyone party call itself opposition against the mafia clique of weyane/eprdf. Ethiopians do not need the aiga jungle democracy of Meles/Abebe/Legesse/Mathza and his boss Mebrahtu Gebrihiwet – - aka Bereket.

  2. atuba dolla
    | #2

    Zinawian robbers sold sand for cash and many,many people died; and the robbers disguising as night Arab merchants made profits in millions of dollars out of charity grains,bought weapons & armaments, and guns and bullets from sellers in a blackmarket,and collaborated with historically known enemies of Ethiopia and invaded the land with the aim of killing and looting citizens and quickly moved into neighbourhoods and broke into homes and vandalised the lifes of families and hurringly created two economic systems,one for themselves and another one for Ehtiopians;and immediately turned Ethiopia into a family business empire strictly owned,run,and controlled by members of the crimefamily.It is now 19 years since the enemy had been carried out the war on the public,but never had it won because Ehtiopians are still fighting the enemy tooth and nail with the aim of a goal shared among millions of voters to free Ethiopia.yes,we do.We will free Ethiopia.

    Do you remember.Ethiopians crushed Zinawians to a complete defeat in 2005 election and the enemy was burried alive in its own house that was demolished with atomic voice of the voters.It won’t go away.Members of the crimefamily have been experiencing traumatic and a heavy jolt on their head and heart and still are limped up on their criminal mind.Well,Guns and Bullets don’t vote people do.

    Built upon the success of the voters achieved in 2005,MEDREK was birthed by the public in collaboration with candidates chosen by Ethiopians for the voters for the upcoming 2010 election.MEDREK,built for the voters by the people and is the choice of the Ethiopians and will definitely change the lives of Ethiopians mainly because it is about now and the future.

    It was the most amazing feeling the dummies experienced when they sprouted into life when they laughed and smiled for the first time because the the neutritional pack question asked by opposition members to Zinawi,the crimeboss,and them witnissing when Zinaws was caught off guard infront of the living deads he picked them up at random to keep them in the fake parliament.But a unique tragedy was occured and was observed when Ledetu Ayalew brought his aching complaint to Zinawi that his cadres have been spreading bad rumors that he has changed into Pentai Koste.As Lidetu said it all in a horse voice that he has been embarassed and felt ashamed infront of Ethiopians.He humbly and sadly asked Zinawi for explanation;it was not funny either.

    Too bad, Lidetu inreturn was invited by Zinawi to clean up the house of the deceites to get rid of the koshashas;Well,is it fair Ledetu got back this sort of answer for all those bad rumors that were sprinkled allover hime or shawored with?

    It is true,Zinawi should be kept on medicines and must remain on treatments because he is mad at voters.Sad,sad another citizen was murdered by tugs and armed cadres.The enemy can kill citizens but not defeat Ethiopians.

  3. Aba Biya Abba Gobbu
    | #3

    Hellow Fellow Ethiopians,

    We hear everday the sad story from Addis/Ethiopia. The butcher of addis zenawi never stops killing Ethiopians. Killing Ethiopians and erazing Ethiopia from the world map is his primary goal. He is doing it.

    But the so called opositions are fooling the nation, by saying the wil make changes peacefully, that is impossible. Ethiopians must rise up and fight by taking arm struggle like other peoples of the world. Whether they like or not they will nver be free. Death is always there, death with dignity is better. The opposition shall ne ver svae Ethiopia and Ethiopians. They only talk. Use arm struggle. Ethiopia prevails.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    This is nothing new, TPLF main purpose of taking power of Ethiopia is to loot and kill. And they have done just that for the last twenty years. For how long are we going to tolerate these bunch of hoodlums? For how long are we going to stand on the side line while our fellow Ethiopians being looted, tortured and killed? How much more are we going to take these cruelty? How are we going to get rid of these bunch of armed robbers? FOR HOW LONG? HAVEN’T WE HAD ENOUGH?

  5. atuba dolla
    | #5

    Ethiopians,capture the fugitive dead or alive.It is obvious that the outlaws would like to stay and loot and murder Ethiopians because they are addicted to killing and murdering Ethiopians and they are thristy of drinking the blood of Ethiopians.Blood in their hand,millions and millions of dollar in their bankaccount,and countless records of crimes throughout their stay in Ethioipia,well,something is there in the back of their twisted mind;that is,they are sure about them being captured one day,that day could be anytime and moreover,it coud be today or even it could have been a few minutes back;this why they are continuing killing Ethiopians when they sure know that when they are captured,they will face the untold type of judicial punishment tantamount to the overall crime they accumelated while staying in the land they invaded a decade and nine years ago.Well,Ethiopians,you be the judge and maximized hte effort to capture the fugitives dead or alive.Victory for all Ethiopians.Amen and Amen.

  6. Zinabu feleke
    | #6

    to too sad to hear such story if it realy happens!

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