Powerful Ethiopian party accuses government of ethnic crackdown
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – A powerful party in Ethiopia’s government accused authorities of arresting members of its ethnic group in a politically-driven crackdown – an unprecedented public charge exposing deep rifts at the heart of the ruling elite.
The accusation marked growing tensions between elements in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – a movement that has dominated Ethiopia for decades – and new reformist prime minister Abiy Ahmed who has upended politics with a string of radical reforms.
At least 79 security officers, officials, businessmen and women, many of them Tigrayan, have been arrested since last week – under what the government said was a clamp-down on corruption and mistreatment of prisoners.
Amenty International and other rights grops have welcomed the arrests. But TPLF chair Debretsion Gebremichael said on Monday the arrests ordered under “the pretext of corruption and human rights are being used to attack Tigrayans”.