4 Ethiopians charged with terror offenses

NAIROBI – The Ethiopian Federal High Court held preliminary hearings on Tuesday on four individuals accused of conspiring to commit terror acts.

The accused are charged with forming relations with an Eritrean-based rebel group to coordinate attacks on infrastructure projects in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara state.

The four are alleged to have received cash payments worth 6,500 U.S. dollars from the group, Patriots-Ginbot 7, to bomb a bridge and attack workers of a road construction project.

The Federal High Court adjourned the case to Oct. 10 to hear reply from the defendants’ lawyer.

Ethiopia accuses Eritrea of of supporting Patriots-Ginbot 7 and other rebel groups. Asmara, in turn, accuses Ethiopia of supporting Eritrean rebel groups and running an international campaign to isolate the Red Sea nation.

Eritrea was a province of Ethiopia in 1952-1993. A referendum in 1993 gave the Red Sea nation its independence from Ethiopia.

A border war in 1998-2000 left an estimated 70,000 people dead from both sides.

Since then, the common border between Eritrea and Ethiopia has had an uneasy calm punctuated by sporadic armed flare-ups. Enditem

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