INTERVIEW-Ethiopia opposition says “anti-govt plot” story is cooked by Zenawi – By Barry Malone (Reuters)

May 5th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

An Ethiopian opposition leader said on Tuesday an anti-government plot had been invented as an excuse to arrest potential candidates ahead of national elections next year. (more…)

An Ethiopian opposition leader said on Tuesday an anti-government plot had been invented as an excuse to arrest potential candidates ahead of national elections next year.

“Without third party verification I can’t believe there was a plot,” Bulcha Demeksa, leader of one of the largest opposition parties, the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement, told Reuters.

“This government is just looking for an excuse to imprison potential politicians.”

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government said last month a group led by an Ethiopian-American professor had planned to use assassinations and bombings to provoke street protests and topple the government.

Addis Ababa arrested 40 former and current army personnel and members of a disbanded opposition group from a “terror network” it said was formed by Berhanu Nega, an opposition leader now teaching economics in the United States.

The Bucknell University lecturer, who has publicly said he wants to overthrow the Ethiopian government, has called the accusations “baseless”.

“When Berhanu says he wants to overthrow the government, it is just words,” said Bulcha.

“He couldn’t have organised these people from the U.S.”

Former Ethiopian president Negaso Gidada, now an independent member of parliament, also told Reuters he doubted Berhanu’s involvement, but said the government was using the alleged plot to root out dissenters in its military.

“There is no democracy in Ethiopia,” added Negaso, citing recent legislation governing the activities of charities and the media that rights groups have condemned as repressive.


The Ethiopian government’s head of information, Bereket Simon, told Reuters that evidence was being prepared and the accused would appear in court on May 11.

“Nobody has any right to prejudge the evidence and undermine the rule of law,” he said.

Opposition parties routinely accuse the government of harassment and say their candidates were intimidated during local elections in April of last year.

The government denies that.

Another opposition leader, Birtukan Mideksa, a former judge who heads the Unity for Democracy and Justice party, has been in solitary confinement since December.

She was jailed after a disputed 2005 poll, with Berhanu and other opposition leaders, when the government accused them of instigating riots in Addis Ababa in an attempt to take power.

About 200 opposition protesters were killed by soldiers and police in violence that followed.

Mideksa and Berhanu were released in a 2007 pardon, but she was re-arrested last year after the government said she had violated the terms of the pardon.

Meles was hailed as part of a new generation of African leaders in the 1990s, but rights groups have increasingly criticised the rebel-turned-leader for cracking down on opposition in sub-Saharan Africa’s second most populous nation.

The party that wins next June’s parliamentary election will pick the prime minister. Meles is expected to win comfortably.

Ethiopia’s political climate is closely watched by foreign investors showing increasing interest in agriculture, horticulture and real estate prospects.

The nation’s economic progress has been hampered of late by high inflation and a fall in foreign exchange inflows.

The country is one of the world’s poorest, ranked 170 out of 177 on the United Nations Human Development Index, and one of the largest recipients of international aid.

“Humanitarian aid should be continued, but development assistance should be conditional on a country being democratic,” said Bulcha. “How can you imprison and kill your people and have the world treat you like a democracy?” (Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

  1. JIGSA
    | #1

    there is no way the THE TPLF LEADER WILL WIN the next election unless the woyanes try to still it again like they did in 2005 election and get away with it.this time the whole worled is watching there wil be no stolen election i hope in ethiopia again.The tplf leader melesse zenawi said he will live by 2010 ofcourse unless he want to stay by force again by killing inocent ethiopians once more in the streets of addis ababa.the ethiopian people must keep exceposing the brutal regime of TPLF RULE in ethiopia.the ethiopian people struggle for democracy will privail god bless ethiopia and its people

  2. jj
    | #2

    I loved this sarcasm, please read it. I hope the author, you would not mind. Had I know your address, I would have asked you permission.

  3. Jungle Boy
    | #3

    JIGSA, LOL, how do you think tplf wll lose? You don’t lose when you compete against yourself. The election is between tplf and tplf.

  4. yikerbelen
    | #4

    the plot is being fabricated by the northren arrogants like bereket, melese and sebhat to committe a crime against the Amhara’s ethnice group. But such a fabricated plot and the cleaning of the former TPLF’s Amharic departement from the criminals “government ” which is totally under the leadership of foreign agents will help for the ethiopia’s people struggle. TPLF has already fired all non tegeres officers from weyane’s army. the question is , who is going to fight for weyanes when eritrea wil start the war against the war criminals? we will seelater on. ethiopians must close all roads and must incircle those war criminals. they must pay the highest price in their life for what they hve committed from dedebit untill now.

  5. bhailu
    | #5

    AS there is not going to be free and fair election, it is the dictator’s party that is going to win (going against itself), what a joke. The west has to stop calling it an election as there is only one running the show.

  6. abboy zenawi from hell
    | #6



  7. ewnetu
    | #7

    « Ruling party tightening grip on Ethiopia ahead of pollThe death of Peaceful Struggle in Ethiopia
    Posted 6th May 2009

    The Case of UDJ Members in Ethiopia

    Abbay Media | London; Many articles have been written and debates have been argued over the different types of struggles which should be applied in Ethiopia to get rid of the TPLF regime and implement a democratic governance in Ethiopia.

    This report is not going to repeat what have been said before from the Peaceful and Armed Struggle advocates, this report aims to highlight on what is happening to our brothers and sisters who have been using the peaceful mean to struggle. The well known case of Judge Birtukan Midekssa, leader of UDJ Party is a prime example on how the TPLF regime attitude towards peace advocates in Ethiopia.

    The current evidence of how peaceful struggle is not working in Ethiopia is the latest case of the 30 years old patriotic man, member of UDJ’s National Council, which was rallies youth to join the peaceful struggle in Ethiopia, Mr Abiyu Belew, which chose to struggle peacefully. He has become the target of TPLF’s security agents and been given an ultimatum to denounce UDJ, and officially join TPLF’s EPRDF party.

    Using the pretext of alleged coup plot by Ginbot 7, TPLF is currently labeling all the people in the military, political organizations and normal citizens, with the current targets being of the Amhara ethnic group as members of Ginbot 7. Similar to OLF’s case used against our Oromo brothers and sisters, accusation of being member of Ginbot 7 will land citizens in jail, and be subjected to torture and death.

    This ultimatum was conveyed to Mr Abiyu, and when he has learn that TPLF security have visited his home in Addis Abeba to imprison him, Mr Abiyu decided and managed to seek refuge outside the country he dearly loves.

    After the news of the disappearance of Mr Abiyu which was first announced by a special Awde Ethiopia report, DW radio correspondent Delnessah Getaneh from London interviewed this brave Ethiopian on 4th May 2009, from his place of hiding outside Ethiopia. Listen to the interview for more information HERE (pm3)

    The nature of the adversary needs to be analyzed thoroughly to identify the method of struggle which is suitable and practical to have a successful outcome. The only way the TPLF regime is clinging to power is by using his brutal security apparatus. The TPLF regime does seem to understand the advantage of a peaceful struggle and is inflicting sheer brutality on those advocating peace.

    TPLF has completely closed the space to challenge the regime peacefully, TPLf doesn’t even abide by the very constitution it wrote.

    This latest example should be a wake up call to those still advocating peaceful struggle from the luxury of the democratic free world, in cities of the Western Countries and subject members in Ethiopia to hardship. The Ethiopian people need to defend their rights and sovereignty the same way they have been in the past, by armed struggle.


  8. atuba dolla
    | #8

    They have this thing called lie and rumour manufacturing and assembly plant stuck on teir neck had been in operation since they arrived in Ethiopia via invasion.

    Lies and faulty rumours that they produced and brought to global market,but their weired and useless effort to sabotage Ethiopians and their heroes and democratically elected leaders failed terribly.

    For sure,they will be defeated in the upcoming 2010 election like they were defeated and lost the election to Ethiopians in 2005. The tplfwoyane invaders are absolutely scared to death of losing the 2010 election to Ethiopians.

    Who do they think possibley buy lies and rumours that are manufactured and assembled deffective? Noooooobody!!!

    It is inevitable that these invaders shall be driven out of the land they invaded twenty years ago and tossed away into that dark and damp cave called Nakfa and be consumed by the demons and devil they worshipped to.

  9. yikerbelen
    | #9

    The baseless plotting case was being cooked by the northren narrow, mindless and racist war criminals. They could not cook at least one good case. they changed their un testy cooking from day to day

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