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Ethiopia declares Tigray's TPLF, Shene terrorist groups

By Mireri Junior | May 1st 2021

Ethiopia Council of Ministers during the Saturday meeting where a proposal to declare TPFL and Shene terrorist groups was passed. [Courtesy]

Ethiopia Council of Ministers on Saturday declared Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Shene terrorist groups for allegedly attacking civilians and destroying public infrastructures. 

In a statement released by the Office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on May 1, 2021, the government accused the groups of carrying attacks in different parts of the country, forcing Ethiopians to live in fear.

“Under Article 18 and 19 of Proclamation No1176/2020 on the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Crimes, TPLF and Shene which operate as terrorists and their leaders are leading destructive activities on the country, a proposal to designate the groups has been passed,” read the statement.

According to the statement, the activities of the two groups fully comply with the definition of terrorism under Article 3 of Proclamation No1176/2020 on the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Crimes.

The Council of Ministers said they opted to declare the groups as terror organisations instead of individually holding members and supporters of the organisations for their terrorist activities.

Ethiopia late last year announced that the TPLF leaders would be charged with high treason, terrorism and attacking a neighbouring state.

The announcement by Attorney General Gedion Timothewos also said TPLF leadership would also be face charges of attacks against the territorial integrity and constitutional order of the country, both qualifying as high treason.

According to Timothewos, the TPLF was guilty of “impeding the defensive power of the State of Ethiopia,” and under the ongoing criminal investigation, that would constitute high treason.

Fighting has ravaged northern Ethiopia since early November when the government opened a military offensive against the ruling faction in the region of Tigray, starting a conflict that has caused thousands of deaths and widespread destruction, displaced over 2 million people, and sent tens of thousands of refugees into neighbouring Sudan.

The war in Tigray has deepened ethnic tensions and created a humanitarian crisis, with 4.5 million people most of Tigray’s population in urgent need of help.

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