Ethiopia: Parliament removes “terrorist” labels on opposition groups

by Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (July 5, 2018)

Ethiopia’s parliament has revoked terrorist labels on three opposition groups, namely Patriotic Ginbot 7, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).


The three groups and two others, al Shabaab and al Qaeda, were labeled terrorists by a rubber stamp Parliament, the House of People’s Representatives, seven years ago.

The TPLF regime used broad interpretations of its Anti-terrorism Proclamation to undermine and target opposition groups, bunching them with the two internationally condemned terrorist organizations, the al Qaeda and al Shabaab.

A new leadership by a reformist Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has set up a team of experts to look into laws like Anti-terrorism Proclamation, the press law as well as the charities and societies proclamation and recommend reviews and amendments.

The TPLF regime used the Anti-terrorism Proclamation and the “terrorism” label on opposition groups to arrest, imprison, torture and kill opponents, critics and journalists.

Tens of thousands of people were thrown in jail using the Anti-terrorism Proclamation and the “terrorism” labels on the opposition. Many of the prisoners, including leaders of opposition groups have been freed by the new Prime Minister.