Ethiopia’s former Communication Minister, Bereket Simon, has been arrested by the Amhara regional government at his residence in the capital, Addis Ababa, multiple news sources, state and private, have reported.
Simon is also a founding member of the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF. The reports indicate that his arrest is in connection with corruption.
Another arrested official is Tadesse Kassa, a former top civil servant. Simon was a member of the Amhara regional bloc in the EPRDF.
Zigale Gebeyehu, head of the regional anti-corruption bureau confrimed that Bereket and Tadesse were detained on suspicion of corruption and that both are now held in police custody in BahirDar city, the capital of the region.October 2017: Why an E.U. MP insisted Bereket be prosecuted
Arrested with him is Tadesse Kassa, a colleague of Bereket's at both the Amhara National Democratic Movement party, and Tiret, the conglomerate accused of monopolizing the Amhara region's business sector. Tadesse has been involved with Tiret for decades. pic.twitter.com/FOcAmUpV60— Zecharias Zelalem (@ZekuZelalem) January 23, 2019
His party, now the Amhara Democratic Party ousted him from executive committee membership last year.
Bereket resigned his position in government in October 2017 at the time as an advisor in charge of Policy Studies and Research to ex Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Later in December, the state-affiliated FBC reported that Bereket like then Parliament Speaker Abadula Gemeda, had rescinded their resignations. He eventually exited after Abiy came to power in April 2017.