Ethiopia arrests 29 over bomb plots – By Aaron Maasho

September 5th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia has arrested 29 people, including nine opposition party members, for plotting to carry out bomb attacks in the Horn of Africa nation, a senior security official said Monday.

Demelash Woldemikael, deputy commissioner of federal police, said the individuals had been rounded up since August 27 and all had links with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a secessionist group Addis Ababa blacklisted as terrorists last year.

“They were all trained by the OLF and we’ve found plenty of evidence proving that they plotted to bomb targets,” Demelash told Reuters.

Seven of the suspects are members of the opposition Oromo People’s Congress party, while two are from the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement, Demelash said.

He said the suspects had appeared in court and been remanded in custody to enable police to carry out further investigations.

Opposition politicians and rights group Human Rights Watch have accused Ethiopia of cracking down on opposition campaigners from the Oromo ethnic group, Ethiopia’s biggest with 27 million people out of a population of 80 million.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is Washington’s closest ally in the Horn of Africa but has been criticised by rights groups for crushing dissent. Meles says “terrorists” are using political party membership to hide their activities.

The government said it had arrested 121 Oromos in March after accusing them of being OLF members.

Two opposition leaders from the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement and the Oromo People’s Congress were detained late last month on suspicion of OLF links. The two men were included in the nine party members mentioned by Demelash.

Ethiopia’s main opposition coalition, Medrek, said the two had been detained after meeting a delegation from international rights group Amnesty International, which confirmed it had met the two leaders.

The government said last week claims there was a link between the meeting and the arrests was “unfounded fabrication.”

Demelash rejected the idea there were any political motives behind the arrests of the 29 suspects.

“We have the evidence to prove against that. Their political activity had nothing to do with their incarceration,” he said.

“They were posing as peaceful activists but were in fact operating with the OLF, which is responsible for past killings of innocent civilians,” Demelash said.

Oromia produces most of the coffee in Africa’s biggest grower, along with oil seeds, sesame and livestock, all of which are major exports.

(Editing by David Clarke)

  1. Sheger
    | #1

    This whole thing can depend on how legitimet the EPRDF or the TPLFs are about the story or every thing but how ever
    If this people are OLF I my self don’t like them since they said they are separetistes. We DON’T like TPLF for the same reason that the fact they help Eritiria to separate. But how ever if OLF I’d at war with the Ethiopian GOVTS unless they are terrorists who works for some kind of Islam interest, you can’t call them terrorists but they might simply be at war with Ethiopian Government for their political agenda in in fact this charges are right or correct. But not that I know who
    The OLFs are after all.

    We live a very problematic and some time a very lyre world. So we have too be careful.

  2. Sheger
    | #2

    If the OLF is at war with Ethiopia” is what I meant to say.

  3. ze-michael
    | #3

    If we keep silent. Meles will arrest each and every one of us. Stand up in unison and arrest Meles and his thugs now!!!

  4. true
    | #4

    It is really problematic. The West is increasing its support to ONLF and OLF especially to ONLF. Ethipians as a whole do not support their secessionist idea therefore like TPLF, ONLF and OLF are not supported and until this day they are not denouncing their secessionist idea. The pot calling the kettle black is what is going on and what is happening to us. It is good idea G7 is negotiating with Liberation Fronts however, how do we support these Liberation Fronts that is going to create civil war in Ethipia to achieve secession? What happens if they won the war? The are going to carve out Ethiopia not that TPLF is any good either it is just sucking Ethiopa’s sources. IT is very worrisome also the recent interest of the West with OLf and ONLF. so Ethiopians as a whole need to unite and decide to say which one is the lesser of two evils: TPLF or ONLF and OLF. Now is the time the pro Ethiopian groups to vigourously discuss with the West before our country falls in shambles because I can sense the momentum of chaos is going and why all of the sudden the West is interested in supporting the Liberaion Fronts. Since the majority of ONLF and OLF are muslims does that mean as TPLF took over, the power is going to be under muslims? What does this do the Christian nation of Ethiopia? Very very worrisome! Why is it not that the West is not talking to G7 since G7 is moderate and inclusive of all Ethiopian nationals. What do we do to empower G7 as our representative? The West has been saying all along that Ethiopia does not have a strong opposition groups and is not turning to Liberation Fronts. Just as Libya is falling into the hands of hardline Alqaeda and Islam fundamentalist because they have been helped with Nato, is this going to be the same fate to Ethiopia as well to the same ethno fascists and Muslim group of people. I have no problem them being muslims but Ethiopia has been a Christian nation before Islam came to Ethiopia and must remain Christian. So many contraditions is facing Ethiopia and it is time we the diaspora really decide to do something about this.

  5. Samuel
    | #5

    Meles is playing with fire. If the TPLF believes that it can rule Ethiopia by marginalizing the Oromo people and subjecting them to second class citizenship as has been practiced by successive Ethiopian regimes in the past, he is mistaken. The Oromo people come in different names but one goal- the Oromo people we will never be a second class citizen after all and we will pay whatever price it costs. Remember that the TPLF was a “shifta” gang for quite some time until they were lucky enough to the step in the footsteps of international politics and gain acces to legitimacy without the consent of the Ethiopian people. It is a matter of time and the cloud is gathering. You can kill and incarcerate as many as you want, but you will not extinguish the burning fire coming from the oromo youth.

    We just learned that Tigrean students were allowed to slip in dismantled machine guns into university campuses all over oromia to intimidate other students and use them when needed. The University administrations are scared to take any action against the Woyane sponsored activity. They forget that that intimidation will be met with people’s power.

  6. Development without freedom
    | #6

    Federal Police is very important for security of Weyenes, and it has many units: units for kidnapping, units for tourching people, units for spying,etc.

  7. bonger
    | #7

    Since the early days the woyane have been murdering people in day light , leaving dead bodies to decompose in the streets, planting and detonating bombs and coming out accusing others, eritra, al shabab, eprp etc etc. for their own wanton crime.

    the cruelty of the woyane is such that after they murder somebody they send their police to the scene as if they did not know about the crime and to appear innocent to the casusl observer. They tell the public the crime will be investigated and of course nothing happens in the end. it is WOYANE INVESTIGATING THEMSELVES. how could there be justice to the murder victims.

    the woyane are violent thugs, who came to power by murdering and bombing their way into Addis Abeba. violence and murder is their second nature.

    they know how to lie and manufacturing fake stories. not even a school boy believes what they say.

    The woyane planted and detonated the bomb by themselves. This ha been confirmed by Wikiliks, and the US ambassador apparently knows it.

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