ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The Ethiopian government says it has detained 29 people, including several opposition members, across the country on terrorism-related charges.
Government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said Monday that police have “solid evidence” that the suspects were in involved in terrorism activities. He says they are linked to the Oromo Liberation Front, an Eritrea-based rebel group that is listed as a terrorist organization in Ethiopia.
Among those detained are two prominent opposition politicians arrested last week. Bekele Gerba, deputy chairman of the Oromo Federal Democratic Movement (OFDM) and Olbana Lelisa of the Oromo People’s Congress were arrested after giving interviews about the country’s political climate and a spate of recent arrests.
Beyene Petros, leader of Ethiopia’s opposition coalition, said there is no evidence against his coalition members.
Opposition leaders and rights groups have accused the government of carrying out a series of politically motivated detentions in an effort to silence political dissent, particularly from members of the Oromo ethnic group.
Recently two Ethiopian journalists who were critical of the government were arrested and are facing similar charges of involvement in terrorist activities.
Human rights groups have accused Ethiopia of cracking down on political dissent.
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