Semayawi and Arena-Tigrai parties reported two deaths putting the total post-election death claims at four, coupled with those from Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC).

Semayawi party’s founding member and parliamentary candidate for Debre Markos electoral district was attacked by two men last Monday around 8pm.

Samuel Awoke, 29, a practicing lawyer and secretary of the party for east Gojam zone, was heading home, after spending the evening with friends. He passed away soon after being ushered to hospital, according to the party.

Samuel’s June 3 facebook status update, that asserted “they can arrest me physically but not my conscience – in case they kill me, carry on my struggle” have went viral after his death. On that post, he accused ANDM/EPRDF, the ruling party’s Amhara state wing, for orchestrating his April 29 severe beating.

A statement from Semayawi party said, “We won’t beg for the prosecution of the criminals as they are part of the government.”Photo - Samuel Awoke and Tadesse Abraha

Amhara state government, however, denied the charges. The State’s spokesperson, Nigussu Tilahun, told HornAffairs that the cause of death was non-political.

According to Nigussu, the deceased was attacked by disgruntled clients who were unhappy by his handling of their court cases and that one of the suspects is apprehended.

Arena Tigrai party, which is part of the main opposition coalition Medrek, reported today that its leader for western Tigrai zone, was killed on Tuesday.

Tadesse Abraha, 48, resident of Mai Kadra kebele, in Kafta-humera wereda, died after being hanged by three men on Tuesday evening, party spokesperson Amdom Gebreslasie told HornAffairs. Though the men left Tadesse for dead, he passed away several hours later. Post-mortem examination was barred by local officials, Amdom added.

Both government and Arena-Tigrai party officials in Mai Kadra kebele were unreachable due to poor telecom reception. Whereas, Kafta-humera wereda’s official Yohannes hung up the phone after listening to our question and rejected subsequent calls. By then, it was too late to try contacting higher officials of Tigrai state.

The reports from Semayawi and Arena would put the post-election death count at four if the previous allegation by Oromo Federalist Congress’s (OFC) is confirmed.

Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), which is part of the main opposition coalition Medrek, reported on May 25 that two of its officers were killed in Oromia state.

Speaking to the Voice of America (VOA) Amharic service, OFC’s vice chairman Dejene Tafa said that its officers, Teshale (no last name) and Gudisa Chemeda were killed in Chelia I and Chelia II electoral districts, respectively.

The spokesperson of Medrek, whom we contacted today for this news, didn’t have the details nor updates on the matter. Whereas, Oromia state government’s spokesperson promised to provide information tomorrow.

An official from OPDO/EPRDF, the ruling party’s Oromia state wing, however, dismissed OFC’s charges.

The official, who wished not to be named as he is not authorized to give media comments, claimed, “there was only one death and it happened in Midakegni wereda and the deceased is unlikely to be a member of OFC”. He added, “at any rate, it was OFC supporters disturbing the vote counting process and we have lodged complaint at the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE)”.

According to the provisional election results NEBE announced on May 27, the EPRDF and its allies amassed all the federal and state legislative seats announced so far. Final results are expected to be announced on June 22.


Daniel Berhane