Ethiopia arrest warrant for ex-spy chief, Getachew Assefa

Ethiopian authorities have made a move in respect of a former intelligence chief widely reported to have superintended over systemic rights abuse during his tenure.

Getachew Assefa was fired by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018 as part of a housecleaning of regime officials mentioned in cases of rights abuse.
The BBC Amharic service quoted the Attorney General as telling parliament on Tuesday that the Tigray regional state was shielding Assefa from arrest.

The accused is currently a high ranking member of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front – a bloc in the four party ruling coalition, the Ethiopia People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF.

Tigrayans held most influential roles in the security and economic sectors of government prior to the coming into office of Abiy.

They have accused Abiy of ethnic cleansing and targeting of Tigrayans in an anti-corruption and human rights crackdown.

The crackdown in late 2018 led to the arrest of former generals linked to corrupt deals within the the military’s business conglomerate, Metec.

Dozens of former intelligence officials are also in court over their roles in recorded cases of human rights abuse especially in prison facilities.

Abiy has repeatedly promised to punish all erring officials.

U.S. Congressman wants Assefa sanctioned

Las yeat, Mike Coffman, a United States Congressman started the process of seeking sanctions to be slapped on Assefa.

An October 22 letter addressed to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury, Steven T. Mnuchin, described Assefa as a criminal and ruthless human rights violator, who needed to be sanctioned along with all persons who aided him during his reign of terror.

By Africanews

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