Ethiopia’s counter-terrorism unit confirmed today that Andargachew Tsigie has been extradited to Ethiopia.

Andargachew Tsigies, a British national and second-in-command of an Ethiopian rebel group, Ginbot-7, was detained at Sena’a airport, Yemen, on June 23, while in transit from Dubai to Eritrea, where the group’s armed unit is stationed.

The detention was made public by the group, last Monday, June 30, urging its supporters to pressure Yemen by holding demonstrations on her embassies in Western countries. Three days later, the group claimed that Andargachew have been extradited.

The statement from the Joint Counter Terrorism Unit of the National Intelligence and Security Service and the Federal Police, however, disclosed that Andarcgachew was transferred to Ethiopia on the same day of his detention.

According to the statement, informed Yemeni authorities detained Andargachew Tsigie based on the intelligence provided by Ethiopian security officials.

The counter terrorism unit referred to Yemeni intelligence service claiming to have a cooperation agreement.

The statement gave no details about the agreement it is referring to. However, a news dispatch from the Chinese news agency Xinhua in 1999 indicates that a security cooperation framework signed by Ethiopian and Yemeni stipulates that the two nations will cooperate with each other to fight those engaged in subversive activities to destabilize the peace and security of the two countries. According to one source, the agreement has an extradition component, with the only exception being the nationals of the two countries.

The statement from Ethiopia’s counter terrorism unit disclosed that Andargachew Tsigie have been using several alias, including Tufa, Jen-Paul, Derbaba, James-Franci, Robi and Harina for thr past five years.

Andargachew has been working in collaboration with Eritrea and another country, whom the statement didn’t name.

The counter-terrorism unit recalled that another British national of Ethiopian origin, Abebe Wendmagegn, was captured, along its collaborators, while preparing to bomb Bole-Medhanialem, a busy section of the capital city, on January 2014. The man, who was under Andargachew Tsigie’s command was tried and convicted later.

The statement indicated further that “suspects who have been embedded in legal opposition parties, but working with Ginbot-7 and its media ESAT have been detained today with court warrants”

The statement didn’t disclose their identity. However, it has been learnt that officials of the opposition parties Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ/Andinet), Semayawi party and Arena-Tigrai party – Habtamu Ayalew, Daniel Shibeshi, Yeshiwas Assefa and Abraha Desta were detained today.

Arena-Tigrai party’s executive member and well-known facebook activist, Abraha Desta, was detained late afternoon today, outside Mekele University compound, where he works as a lecturer. His house was searched by the police.

Horn Affairs was not able to confirm the reasons for their detention at the writing of this news.

The statement triumphantly claimed that “having foreign countires’ citizenship, being a journalist or membership in a legal opposition party cannot provide immunity from legal accountability”.


Daniel Berhane

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