Ethiopia to release 60 ex-officials, opposition figures

Ethiopia to release 60 ex-officials, opposition figures

The Government of Ethiopia on Monday announced its plan to release from prison 60 former officials implicated in grand corruption and crimes against humanity, among others.

Nigusu Tilahun, Press Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister told the state broadcaster – ETV that the decision is aimed at broadening the political space in Ethiopia. But he didn’t mention the names of the 60 people selected to be pardoned by the government though he said that some 1,600 individuals are in jail in relation to corruption, human rights abuses and the like after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power some two years ago.

The news followed the request made by the Prosperity Party leaders in Tigray Region to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia for the release of former government officials from Tigray ethnic group who are jailed after the reformist Prime Minister came to power.

It is expected that the individuals set to be free from jail include former officials of the military owned firm – Metal and Engineering Company (METEC) such as, the head of the company Major General Kinfe Dagnew, and major business figures who were implicated in cases related to METEC such as, Ermias Amelga, and former security heads apparatus as well as leaders of the recently established National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) like, Christian Tadele, among others.

The details of the people the government has decided to release from prison is expected to be given this afternoon by the Ethiopian Attorney General, according to Mr. Nigussu.