[Reported by Dawit Kebede] – Days after the government accused the opposition coalition (Medrek) of killing a policeman in the Oromiya region, gunmen have shot dead an activist of this coalition. “Girma Kabe was putting up posters for the election and was shot down in daylight,” Negaso Gidada, public relations head of the eight-party Medrek opposition coalition, told Awramba Times.
Ethiopia holds elections on May 23 and both the government and its main rival, the Forum for Democracy and Dialogue (Medrek), have stepped up allegations of harassment, including killings. “Our activist was killed on April 26 in the Werejarso locality of Oromya region, the same province where similar attacks have taken place during the past two months.” said Negaso. “Authorities have dismissed it as a personal argument, but we have suspicions that the ruling party might have something to do with it,” he added.Government spokesman Bereket Simon, Minister of Government Communication Office dismissed the claim. “this person in the first place was not a member of their group,” he told AFP. “He was killed during a fight with an armed person. It wasn’t politically motivated, millions of Ethiopians have personal firearms,” Bereket added.
The opposition says that three of its members have been killed since campaigning began. With one incident taking place in the northern Tigray region. The ruling party says opposition members killed one of its candidates last week and murdered a policeman on Saturday night. The government said on Saturday that a grenade was thrown into a meeting of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO), killing two people and wounding 14. The OPDO is part of the country’s ruling coalition. Tensions have risen in recent weeks as the ruling Ethiopian People’s RevolutionaryDemocratic Front (EPRDF) party and the opposition bloc accuse each other of attacking supporters.
Source – Awramba Times