Ethiopia arrests former peace minister over alleged links to an outlawed rebel group #Ethiopia #arrests #peace #minister #alleged #links #outlawed #rebel #group

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia’s peace minister has been fired and arrested for having alleged links to an outlawed rebel group after he made a series of social media posts criticizing the government.

Federal police released a statement Tuesday accusing Taye Dendea of “collaborating with anti-peace forces that are trying to destroy Ethiopia” and of belonging to the Oromo Liberation Army, which is banned as a terrorist organization.

The statement was published alongside several photos showing firearms, identity documents, mobile phones and OLA flags that police said were seized from Taye’s home.

The OLA is waging a long-running insurgency against the government. It claims to be fighting for greater representation for the Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, but has been accused of ethnic-based attacks on other groups.

Human rights groups, meanwhile, have accused the government of targeting civilians in its military campaign against the OLA.

Taye, an ethnic Oromo, is a senior member of the ruling party, but has grown increasingly critical of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Last week Taye blamed the government for the failure of recent peace talks with the OLA and condemned a decision to ban an opposition rally in Addis Ababa, the capital.

On Monday, Taye posted his dismissal letter from Abiy on Facebook and described the prime minister as a “barbarian” who “plays with human blood.”

There was no immediate response from the prime minister’s office regarding Taye’s characterization of Abiy.

The OLA conflict has rendered vast parts of Oromia ungovernable. More than 50 civilians have been killed in the region since the breakup of last month’s peace talks, according to a state-appointed human rights commission.

#Ethiopia #arrests #peace #minister #alleged #links #outlawed #rebel #group

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