Opposition prisoners’ release is no pardon, says Ethiopia PM

The recent release of many opposition figures by dropping charges doesn’t guarantee pardon, says Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia.

Speaking on Sunday afternoon at the inauguration of the new headquarters of Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Abiy indicated that the Government can reactivate the charges if the recently released opposition politicians failed to live up to the expectation of the Government.

“After winning the war because we choose to forgive instead of revenge, we rope the charges against you in respect of the people behind you. I therefore urge you whose charges are dropped, not to spoil this opportunity. Dropping charges doesn’t mean pardon. If the person whose charge is dropped has failed to properly utilize it, the charges can be activated,” Abiy Ahmed said.

Abiy also addressed his supporters who are not happy about the release of the opposition politicians mainly those associated with the Tigray peoples Liberation Front (TPLF).

“The medicine we took is not a pain killer. We took the medicine that cures with its side effects,” he said, indicating how difficult the decision was for his government and the people of Ethiopia who sustained the sufferings of the attacks of the criminals implicated in treason and terrorist activities.

“…Because it cures it has pain,” he said, indicating that the decision will in the long run brings the spirit of victory for the future generation.

Abiy stressed that the intention of the release of the prisoners is aimed at maintaining the unity and strength of Ethiopia as an independent and sovereign nation. He stressed that the war is not yet over as the enemies of the country many and indicated the need to win some of these wars peacefully.

Built on 13,000 square meters of land, the new five story headquarters of ENDF has 700 rooms with many assembly halls. The compound known as Tor Hayloch or old airport, also has 36,000 square meters of area for landing choppers and small jets.

In his message to the attendants of the event, Abiy indicated that his country will build a modem and strong army that can avoid war.

PM Abiy also urged the international community to open their eyes and see the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia to bring lasting peace in the country in relation to the conflict in Tigray region.

He also urged the people of Tigray to open their eyes and relegalize the crisis TPLF has caused to the region and its people.

Commenting on the ongoing fighting with TPLF in some parts of the country after the Government of Ethiopia announced that its troops will not enter into Tigray region, Abiy warned the Front that his troops will react if the Front continues the war.