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Leading Ethiopian opposition figure detained in Yemen

Published on 3 July 2014 in News
Bassam Al-Khameri (author)

Bassam Al-Khameri


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Tsegie’s Ginbot-7 is classed as a ‘terrorist group’ by Ethiopia’s government.

Tsegie’s Ginbot-7 is classed as a ‘terrorist group’ by Ethiopia’s government.

SANA’A, July 2–The Ginbot-7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy, an outlawed political organization in Ethiopia, claimed on Monday that the movement’s secretary general Andargachew Tsegie has been detained in Yemen since June 23.

According to the organization’s website, Tsegie was arrested at Sana’a International Airport while in transit from Ethiopia to London. Tsegie is an Ethiopian with British citizenship.

The circumstances of his arrest remain unclear.

In a press release published on the official Ginbot-7 website on June 30, the movement said that it had tried for a week to release Tsegie, adding that it had asked the Yemeni government not to hand him over to the Ethiopian government. “We will retaliate in any way and at any place for any harm done to the body, spirit and life of Andargachew Tsegie,” the movement warned.

Khalid Sheikh, the director of Sana’a International Airport, denied any knowledge of Tsegie’s alleged detention.

The Yemen Times contacted the Ethiopian Embassy in Sana’a, which claims to have no information on Tsegie’s alleged arrest so far. The British Embassy could not be reached.

Ethiopian news website Awramba Times cited a senior Ethiopian official as saying “Yemeni authorities will definitely issue an extradition warrant and he will face justice based on the Ethio-Yemeni Security Pact (EYSP), which was signed in 1999 between the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Yemeni’s former President Ali Abdallah Saleh.”

The website’s article did not give any further details of the arrest.

Ginbot-7 is a political movement that was founded by Dr. Berhanu Nega and that, according to its mission statement,  aims to establish a national political system in which political authority is gained through peaceful and democratic means.

The Ethiopian government listed Ginbot-7 as a “terrorist group” in June 2011. Tsegie allegedly survived an attempted assassination in November 2013 in Asmara that Ginbot-7 holds the Ethiopian regime responsible for.

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21 Response(s) to “Leading Ethiopian opposition figure detained in Yemen”

  1. Simerrr 2012 7.07.2014 at 09:18
    The question is how much have been paid the Yemen officials to do this dirty job. I doubt you have any moral ground to be called a country. Too much drug you consume everyday and your brain damage can be easily seen.
  • Ethipian 6.07.2014 at 10:42
    Yemen is a sister country of peace loving people. So I kindly request the Yemeni authority to give this bloody terrorist to Ethiopia, where he will stand in court for all his wrong and evil doings
  • Abrham 5.07.2014 at 11:55
    I would like send massage of Yemen gvr't he is our hero and fight of free dome we all konw freedom naver be free so I fell so sad what Yemen do to day we naver forget that. There is a lot Andargachew we all Andargachew
  • Amnyus 5.07.2014 at 07:29
    Your government must be stupid and ignorant if they sent this gentle man to ethiopia
  • Birru 5.07.2014 at 00:53
    CORRECTION:- Tsige's flight was not from Ethiopia to England as you stated it was from dubai to third country via yemen .He is not allowed to enter Ethiopia ie he is in the wanted list by the Ethiopia governmnt .
  • WTD 4.07.2014 at 23:14
    As a journalist and as a favor to the Ethiopian public, are you guys willing and able to pursue this matter and investigate if really the Yemeni government has transferred Andargachew to the Ethiopian mafia in anyway? The Ethiopian mafia is Is he being tortured by Ethiopian mafias in a secret location in Yemen? Have the Ethiopian mafia killed him after acquiring him from Yemeni security? Or, is he still under the control of the Yemeni security?
  • Abraham 4.07.2014 at 20:36
    I am really sad on the news why the Yemeni authorities detained a person on transit at airport. Mr. Andargachew Tsige never poses armament, not deploying attackes on yemen.....Rather he was a pro democratic activist.The Dictatorial governmnet of Ethiopia scared of this person and his party Ginbot7 movment for Justice, freedom and democracy. All Yemenis shall pay the price for handing over this pro democratic person to the killer governmnet of Ethiopia.
  • desalegn 4.07.2014 at 19:38
    This is the gravest mistake that ever made by Yemenese coz they are losing friendship with ethiopia, eritrea, british and other countries' trust of using its airlines bcoz of siding with few juntas...
  • Hamid 4.07.2014 at 19:08
    By handing over a prominent opposition figure to butchers in Addis Ababa, Yemen has permanently damaged its relation with 90 million Ethiopians. Sooner or later Yemen will pay dearly for committing such a crime against most loved Ethiopian citizen.
  • Jobir Kumal 4.07.2014 at 07:25
    I am an Ethiopian. I am deeply saddened by the action of Yemeni officials. Ethiopia is a brutal dictatorship ruled by known ruthless killers. For Yemen to hand over this freedom fighter to these killers is simply beyond me. The Ethiopian minority government has also been prosecuting muslims in the country. Yemen, I am disappointed!
  • Meron 4.07.2014 at 06:54
    there is information that the Yemen government has already handed over Mr Tsege to the Ethiopian government how is it possible in a civilized world that a man in transit travelling with a British passport who has no ill will towards the Yemen government or people is abducted at an international airport what does this say about Yemen? I leave the answer to your readers.
  • Mohammed 4.07.2014 at 03:30
    Mr. Al-khaneri, Mr. Tsegie was traveling from Dubai to Asmera through Sana'a using Yemenia. Not from Ethiopia to London, as stated in your piece. I have a question for you, as a journalist have you tried to contact the Yemeni's Security officials about the news and the state of the saga? Ethiopians are taken by huge surprise and we are sad by the actions of the Yemeni's Government. Are there opposition groups or parties in Yemen? Are they given the label "terrorist"? Ginbot 7 is an opposition group based in the US and has members through out Ethiopian and many Ethiopians in other countries (European countries, North America, African countries, in Asian countries, the Middle East including Yemen and Australia). Mr. Tsegie was traveling in all these places freely. Then, why he got detained by the Yemeni security forces? It doesn't make sense and they made grave historical mistakes. We Ethiopians will never forget and forgive this terrible decision. Allah ak über !
  • Maki 4.07.2014 at 03:03
    Yemen is a historical enemy to Ethiopia,a poor country with a poor decision. Where is ur long waited democratic reform. The government is like a camel pee, cant even marginalize and reason out its decision. Retaliation by any means.
  • Aba Biyia 4.07.2014 at 00:45
    Believe me if Yemen ever extradites Ato Andargachew it will be a forever hostility b/n the two nation.It may not stop with this it is more than outrageous. I wish somebody use his mind in your government officials. Probably you may have seen hundreds and thousands of Ethiopian whom you are killing and doing all the inhuman treatment . When you were in trouble we helped you and treated you as a friend. But be sure no a drop of blood of Ethiopian will be forgotten. By the way I am not a party member nor supports what they are doing but .....
  • healethiopia 3.07.2014 at 19:32
    Yemeni Government is making a very unwise move in detaining Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsigie while transiting through Yemen. Mr Andargachew a resident in Britain and travels everywhere in the free world, he is not a criminal or did not violate any international law but he is a leader of opposition movement against the dictatorship of Ethiopian Government. Millions of Ethiopians are angered with the detention of Andargachew Tsigie and opposing his unlawful handing over to Ethiopian Government. they will be demonstrating all over the world against Yemeni government to stop the handover of Mr Andargachew to ETH GOV. Why should Yemen become a hunting dog of Ethiopian Government putting the positive relationship of the people of the two countries in jeopardy? What makes the case more scandalous is the awarding of a major share of Tabaco factory in Addis Ababa to a Yemeni company (the ownership of the company can be further investigated by your media).
  • Yionekachew 3.07.2014 at 18:01
    We Ethiopian are very disappointed the illegal detention of our political activities and Secretary General of ginbot 7, Mr, ADaregachew tsegie. We demand the Yemen government to release him with out precondition.
  • Girma 3.07.2014 at 17:26
    Free our hero Andargachew Tsegie
  • wawi 3.07.2014 at 17:18
    Mr Andargachew Tsegie Was Not Traveling from Ethiopia Nor Headingvto London! !
  • Mimi 3.07.2014 at 16:44
    Yemeni authorities should not engage in any harmful acts that would endanger the well-being, safety and security of Mr. Tsege. Think about the consequences for the future relations between the peoples of Yemen and Ethiopia
  • Dawit 3.07.2014 at 16:01
    Why Yemeni authorities are doing this? Don't they know it is against international law. It is not gonna be good for both Yemeni and Ethiopian people long lasting relation as supporters of the detained man will not keep quite. Yemen officials, for peaceful coexistence sake, free the man you detain.
  • ela pedia 3.07.2014 at 11:36
    Thanks yementimes for posting this news. Yemen government free Andargachew Tsegie
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