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June 14, 2021
Satenaw Ethiopian News/Breaking News

European Union a ‘TERRORIST GROUP’? Ethiopian leader arrested for meeting Brussels bosses

Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina
Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina

AN ETHIOPIAN opposition leader is being held on terror charges after holding talks with European Union bosses.

Merera Gudina, who leads the Oromo People’s Congress, was detained after returning to Addis Ababa from Brussels where he criticised the government in Addis Ababa for imposing a state of emergency.
Mr Gudina has been at the forefront of protests against land grabs in the Oromiya region and what his supporters have described as a government clampdown on political freedoms.

Women in the troubled Oromiya region of EthiopiaGETTY

Women in the troubled Oromiya region of Ethiopia

Merera Gudina is in custody and an investigation is currently taking place

Ethiopian security official

His deputy Gebru Gebremariam said: “Merera arrived in Addis Ababa on Wednesday morning from a trip to Brussels, where he met members of the European Parliament.

“Police arrested him in his house the same day in the evening. We haven’t been given reasons behind his arrest.”

Ethiopian security officials said Mr Gudina had violated guidelines “by making contact with terrorist groups” during his visit to Brussels.

They said: “Given this violation, Merera Gudina is in custody and an investigation is currently taking place.”

Villagers in Ethiopia's Oromiya regionGETTY

Villagers in Ethiopia’s troubled Oromiya region

More than 500 people died in violent protests against the government until the six-month state of emergency was declared in October.

Demonstrations were initially triggered by anger over a development scheme that opponents said would force farmers off their land.

Foreign firms have often been leased land by the government that locals say was seized from them for little compensation and sold on at great profit.

Merera Gudinanc

Merera Gudina was arrested on terror charges after a trip to Brussels

The government, which scrapped the capital’s development plan after protests erupted, denies imposing political restrictions or illegally taking land.

Opposition parties failed to secure a single seat in parliament in the last elections in 2015.

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