An Ethiopian diplomat who was part of the government delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month has sought political asylum in the United States.
Baye Tadesse Teferi, the state’s chief protocol officer, quit his job in the United States after serving over two years with the government, he told VOA Amharic on Tuesday.
በኢትዮጵያው ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ ፅሕፈት ቤት የፕሮቶኮል ኃላፊ አቶ ባዬ ታደሰ ተፈሪ በአሜሪካ የፖለቲካ ጥገኝነት ለመጠየቅ ወስነው ቀሩ።… https://t.co/s5ieuLeTQH
— VOA Amharic (@VOAAmharic) October 3, 2017
He added that his decision was due to fears of being persecuted for political reasons.
Teferi attended the summit with the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who has since returned.
Ethiopia is regarded as one of Africa’s fastest growing economies yet many citizens have faced repression by security forces and the government.
In the past two years, protests were held in the Oromia and Amhara regions where tens of thousands of people flooded the streets denouncing marginalization by the government.
The Ethiopian government reacted with force to the protests, leading to the death of about a thousand people, arrests, state of emergency, internet shutdowns among other measures to stop the protests.