Ethiopia’s Oromo leader meets German envoy over political developments

Barely two weeks after criminal charges against him were dropped and he was released from prison, Dr. Merera Gudina, a leading opposition member in Ethiopia has hit the ground running.

Gudina, leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) has been talking and acting politically since his release from jail on January 17, 2018.

The German Embassy in Addis Ababa shared photos of Gudina meeting with the Ambassador on Thursday January 25. “Both had a fruitful discussion about current political developments in Ethiopia.

Dr Merera thanked the Ambassador for the continuous support that Germany has rendered to his case. He encouraged Germany to continue its contributions to finding a lasting solution to the political challenges of the country.

“The Ambassador expressed Germany’s relief about Dr Merera’s release. She also expressed Germany’s gratitude for his relentless and peaceful commitment to fostering Ethiopia’s democracy.

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“Dr Merera thanked the Ambassador for the continuous support that Germany has rendered to his case. He encouraged Germany to continue its contributions to finding a lasting solution to the political challenges of the country,” the Embassy’s social media handle said.

Local media showed him at the offices of the OFC with other leaders of the party.

Gudina, an academic and former lawmaker, became a central figure around anti-government sentiments. He was arrested in December 2016 after he returned home from an European tour where he addressed the EU parliament over political events back home.

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The government said he was arrested for flouting a state of emergency provision by meeting anti-government elements on his tour. His initial terrorism charge was downgraded to multiple criminal charges last year.

Addis Ababa released him after the ruling EPRDF coalition decided early January 2018 to drop charges against some category of politician detainees as a means of fostering national unity. Gudina and about 500 others were released on January 17, 2018.

He has since stressed that until the government engages in meaningful dialogue with the main opposition parties, it was just a matter of time before a new round of protests break out.

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