August 28, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) — Ethiopian high court passed jail terms ranging between 16-19 years behind bars against 30 defendants who were found guilty of perpetrating terrorism acts.
According to the state-run Ethiopian television, four of the defendants are sentenced each to 19 years of rigorous jail while the remaining 25 are sentenced to 16 years each and a 5-year ban from any of their constitutional rights.
The news report didn’t give details of the charges nor did it give if they belong to any political or rebel groups. However, a government official unauthorized to address Medias, on a condition of anonymity told Sudan Tribune that the convicts had links with some rebellion groups.
Some of the convict had been in Eritrea and received direct orders from Asmara government to carry out terrorist acts including conspiracy to assassinate senior government officials, Sudan Tribune learnt.
Following the 1998-2000 border war which left 70,000 people killed, Eritrea and Ethiopia routinely trade accusations of supporting their respective rebel and opposition groups.
Addis Ababa describes Ogaden and Oromo rebels as anti peace agents backed by Eritrea, while Asmara presents Ethiopian based Eritrean rebel groups, who occasionally carry out cross border attacks as troublemakers employed by Addis Ababa in its proxy war against Eritrea.
With the border row of the two neighbors remaining unsettled, tensions still remain high with fears of a possible return to conflict.
Ethiopian leader, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, has repeatedly expressed readiness to comeback to peace talks should Eritrea does so. However Eritrea insists that it deserves the awarded key town of Badme, a source of one of the devastating war in the horn of Africa’s region.
Source: Sudan Tribun