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.”
SOURCED FROM REUTERS
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