Ethiopia: Terrorist arrests linked to Eritrea?


Posted on June 30, 2011 07:13

Ethiopian police on Wednesday said they had arrested nine people including two journalists on terrorism charges.

Zeryihun Gebreegziabher, the chairman of the Ethiopian National Democratic Party (ENDP), and Dejene Tefera, a member of the party, were also among those who were arrested.

Police said that the nine were involved in terrorism activities and were preparing to cut electric and telephone lines throughout the country.

“They were organising a terrorist structure for their operation with cooperation from the Eritrean government and other local bodies,” police said.

Demelash Gebremichael, the assistant commissioner for central information and crime intelligence directorate indicated that the federal police’s anti-terrorist taskforce said those arrested belonged to a “terrorist network.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Government Communication Affairs, Shimeles Kemal said the arrest of the journalists had nothing to do with their work.

“The arrests have no relation with what the journalists wrote or with their views published on newspapers,” Kemal said.

“They were found to be involved in terrorism activities, nothing else.” said Kemal.
Reyot Alemu, a reporter for the Amharic language weekly Feteh, and Woubeshet Taye, the deputy editor of the Amharic language Awramba Times have been identified as the journalists under arrest.

Police said they will be produced in court soon.

Ethiopia recently enacted a strict anti-terrorism law making it one of the African countries with such legislation.

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