ESAT News (March 28, 2016)
Ethiopian regime forces are arresting opposition political party members and prominent individuals in south Omo after illegal land grab by members of the TPLF was exposed on ESAT a week ago.
ESAT, based on information compiled by a group of professionals in south Omo Zone in south Ethiopia, reported that 98.9% of the investment land in south Omo zone had been allocated to members of the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF), the minority ruling clique in Ethiopia.
The report also revealed the TPLF businessmen could easily obtain 32 million dollars in loans from Banks using the land as a collateral. Of the estimated amount, only about 250,000 dollars has been invested on the land. The over 31 million dollars has either been used for other types of businesses or been taken off shore by the TPLF businessmen.
Alemayehu Mekonnen, vice chairman of the Omo Peoples’ Democratic Union, Abraham Bizuneh, a political activist, and Sileshi Getachew from Jinka were taken to custody on Saturday. The forces also searched the houses of the detainees and confiscated documents and mobile phones.
Chairman of the Omo Peoples’ Democratic Union, Girma Bekele told ESAT that the court warrants show the regime suspect the individuals of having connections with Patriotic Ginbot 7. He said there were no evidence found during the search that the individuals had connections with Patriotic Ginbot 7 adding that the regime was trying to create fear on the people who were protesting the looting of their land by members of the ruling party and their cronies.