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10:22 25 June
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Ethiopia drops charges against rebel leader


In a move most observers would recently have seen as unthinkable, Ethiopia’s government on Tuesday said it had dropped terrorism charges against Berhanu Nega, a rebel leader sentenced to death in absentia in 2009, APA reports quoting Anadolu.

 

Nega is a political leader of Ginbot 7/Patriots Front -- a rebel coalition the government claimed were terrorists.

 

Nega was tried in absentia and given a death sentence in what human rights groups called trumped-up charges.

 

According to state media, Nega's charges have been dropped in sweeping government pardon measures aimed at bringing about national healing.

 

Nega lives in Eritrea -- a Horn of Africa country bordering Ethiopia -- where the rebel group operates from.

 

Before 2005, he was also leader of a Ethiopian opposition political party called Kinijit.

 

Before new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in April, Ethiopia saw anti-government protests in the populous regions of Oromia and Amhara demanding inclusive political representation and more just economic participation.

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