Ethiopia arrests former Tigray interim authorities official

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NAIROBI – A former senior official in an interim authorities for Ethiopia’s Tigray area appeared in courtroom on Saturday on prices of inciting battle between the Tigrayan individuals and the central authorities and possession of an unlawful weapon, his lawyer mentioned.

War erupted in November 2020 within the northern Tigray area between the federal authorities and forces aligned with the area’s ruling get together, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF). Soon after, the federal authorities seized the capital of Tigray and appointed an interim administration for Tigray.

Abraha Desta served on this federally appointed administration as head of the Tigray Social Affairs Bureau. He was beforehand a member of the opposition Tigrayan get together Arena, which resisted the TPLF, and had spent three years in jail below the previous TPLF-led authorities. He is essentially the most senior official within the interim administration to be arrested.

Abraha held his put up till the tip of June when Tigray forces recaptured most of Tigray and he left for the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

He was arrested there on Thursday, a day after writing an open letter to Addis Ababa’s new mayor on Facebook, denouncing what he alleged had been arbitrary arrests of Tigrayans and rising discrimination.

A Reuters investigation earlier this yr discovered that Ethiopian police arrested a whole bunch of Tigrayans in Addis Ababa at no cost. Police denied on the time that the suspects had been being focused as a result of of their ethnicity.

On Saturday, Abraha was remanded in custody for 9 days, mentioned his lawyer, who requested Reuters to not launch his identify.

Neither federal police spokesman Jeylan Abdi nor lawyer common’s workplace spokesperson Awol Sultan might be instantly reached for remark.

There has been rising worldwide criticism of circumstances in Tigray, with the UN warning that a whole bunch of 1000’s of individuals are going through hunger. All events combating in northern Ethiopia face the opportunity of sanctions from the US authorities.

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