Feb 26, 2018

Oromo: Recently-Freed Oromo Political Leader Detained Again in Ethiopia

Less than two weeks after the release of prominent Oromo leader Bekele Gerba along with six of his colleagues, it has been reported that the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) member is being detained again in western Ethiopia. Gerba and his colleague Merera Gudina were touring the region in order to address their supporters, before being stopped by Ethiopian forces near the city of Nekemte. The country has been under a state of emergency ever since the resignation of its Prime Minister on 21 February 2018.

The following article was originally published by: Africa News.

Reports from Ethiopia indicate that leading opposition chiefs, Merera Gudina and Bekele Gerba are among a group detained by federal security forces in the country’s west.

The recently released duo who are leaders of the main opposition Oromo Federalists Congress (OFC) were held near the town of Nekemt, OFC’s youth league secretary, Addisu Bulala told the Addis Standard portal.

“After addressing our supporters in other small cities on our way to Nekemt, when we reached Gute, few kilometers outside of Nekemt, we were stopped by federal security forces.

“We have been held for the last four hours and no one is explaining to us what would happen next,” he said in a phone interview.

He further disclosed that the detained party includes other recently released prisonsers like Gurmesa Ayano, the youth league chair and Dejene Taffa, deputy secretary general who were released along with Bekele Gerba on February 13, 2018.

The country is currently under a state of emergency which the government imposed to curb spreading violence and insecurity. The measure among other things prohibits hampering activities of law enforcement bodies, and staging unauthorized demonstrations and meetings.

The country currently has a Prime Minister on his way out after tendering his resignation weeks back. Hailemariam Desalegn is occupying the post till the ruling coalition elects his successor latest by next week.

According to him, his resignation was to bolster political reform efforts announced in January 2018 which situation led to mass prisoner release at the federal and regional state levels.

Photo courtesy of Africa News.