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Ethiopia’s ruling party to brief oppositions on anti-terrorism law   

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian political parties that are negotiating on the country’s anti-terrorism law on Thursday agreed to hear the ruling party’s response to their proposal regarding the law.

The opposition political parties have tabled a proposal to amend the law, saying it is against the country’s constitution and major international human right proclamations.

They have also demanded more clarity in the law’s terms and requested explanation on the progress of the decisions to release some imprisoned politicians.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, together with leaders of the four member parties of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), recently announced that the Ethiopian government will drop charges and free imprisoned politicians.

Desalegn, who stressed that the latest move would promote unity, reconciliation and dialogue among Ethiopians, also disclosed that the government will shut down a notorious detention center known as Maekelawi.



528 Ethiopians to be released as part of an amnesty program

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia will release 528 individuals as part of an amnesty program to create national consensus and help build a responsible citizenry, an Ethiopian official said on Monday.

Speaking in a press conference, Getachew Ambaye, Ethiopia Attorney General, said the individuals will be released starting from Wednesday as the government has decided to drop charges against them.

Among those, 115 individuals were detained at the federal level while the rest were arrested on suspicion of taking part in violence that occurred in the Segen people’s zone and Gedeo zone of southern regional state, according to him.

The decision comes two weeks after Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn announced Ethiopia will release opposition figures to speed up democratization and create national consensus.

The statements by the PM and Attorney didn’t give details on the identity of those who will be released.

However, state affiliated media outlet Radio Fana reported on Monday prominent opposition figure Merera Gudina will be among those that will be released.

Gudina, Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), has been in prison since December 2016, accused of conspiring with an outlawed group to destabilize the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopia faced in 2016 unrest that killed hundreds, dubbed by analysts the gravest challenge to the ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front in 25 years.

The unrest involving parts of the three most populous regions Amhara, Oromia and Southern regional states led to an imposition of martial law in October 2016 which was only lifted in August 2017. 



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