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Ethiopia PM conducting political, ethnic witch-hunt - Tigray chair

Ethiopia PM conducting political, ethnic witch-hunt - Tigray chair

Ethiopia

<p><strong>The chairman of the Tigray party in Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has described recent arrests of senior military officials as being politically motivated and implemented along ethnic lines.</strong></p> <p>Debretsion Gebremichael, chairman of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (<span class="caps">TPLF</span>), accused prime minister Abiy Ahmed of conducting ethnic profiling in the name of fighting corruption.</p> <p>He said the arrests of more than 60 senior military and intelligence officers in recent weeks was an attack on ethnic Tigrayans, a group that has long held disproportionate power in government and the security services.</p> <p>“The arrests… targeting individuals accused of corruption and human rights has veered from course and is being used to bring Tigrayan people to their knees,” Debretsion claimed.</p> <a style="font-size:16px; font-color:yellow;" href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/11/16/ethiopia-pm-vows-zero-retreat-over-latest-clampdown/"target="_blank"><span class="caps">ALSO</span> <span class="caps">READ</span>: Ethiopia PM vows ‘zero retreat’ over latest clampdown</a> <p>The <span class="caps">TPLF</span> was a founding member of the long-ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (<span class="caps">EPRDF</span>) in which Tigrayans have traditionally held the reins of power, despite accounting for only around six percent of the population.</p> <p>“We do not compromise on the issue of rule of law, all of us should be accountable for our actions, but the mass arrests should not be used as a cover for political aims,” Debretsion warned.</p> <h2 style="font-size:16px;">Tigray’s resistance to Abiy</h2> <p>The appointment of Abiy, an Oromo, in April and his breakneck implementation of reforms has loosened the Tigrayan grip on government, stirring resentment in some quarters.</p> <a style="font-size:16px; font-color:yellow;" href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/06/14/ethiopia-s-peace-deal-with-eritrea-criticised-by-tplf/"target="_blank">Previously: Ethiopia’s peace deal with Eritrea criticised by <span class="caps">TPLF</span></a> <p>Debretsion claimed to discern “a hand of a foreign country” in the arrests, without naming the state he was referring to.</p> <p>“There is a foreign involvement in the process. Thus, it is unacceptable,” he said, without giving further details.</p> <p>Among those so far arrested are a former deputy spy chief and the former head of the military-owned Metals and Engineering Corporation (<span class="caps">METEC</span>).</p> <p>“While Kinfe was arrested peacefully, they tied him handcuffs. This is a political attack,” Debretsion told a news conference.</p> <p>“While they should have gone after an individual, they went after an ethnic group and a party,” he said in comments aired by Dimtsi Woyane TV.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tigray deserves praise for arrest of ex-army chief – Ethiopian activist <a href="https://t.co/uiPB1FPATs">https://t.co/uiPB1FPATs</a></p>— africanews (@africanews) <a href="https://twitter.com/africanews/status/1062696599963471872?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">14 novembre 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

While they should have gone after an individual, they went after an ethnic group and a party.

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