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Joint task force announces arrest of 50 suspects “plotting violence, terror” targeting Addis Abeba

The suspects were found in possession of various weapons, currency notes from different countries, bank books, and other documents (Photo: Ethiopian Federal Police/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – On Tuesday, the Joint Security and Intelligence Task Force announced that it had apprehended 50 individuals suspected of being members of a covert group plotting terror and violence in the capital, Addis Abeba, and its surrounding areas.

The task force stated that the group had been “conspiring to perpetuate terror in Addis Abeba and the bordering areas of the Oromia region, after their mission to create chaos and violence in the Amhara region was foiled by the coordinated efforts of regional and federal security forces.

According to a statement by the task force, the clandestine group was operating from bases in Addis Abeba and Menjar Shenkora in the North Shoa zone of the Amhara region, where it trained a special armed force. The task force further alleged that the group had been working with some followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and using church premises as a center for covert activities.

The statement revealed that the arrest was the result of a secretive operation that followed five months of surveillance. The suspects were found in possession of various weapons, snipers, bombs, incendiary materials, currency notes from different countries, bank books, and various documents.

Among the 50 suspects, Nigatu Gebreyesus, also known as Abraham, was identified as the group’s leader. Fasil Getachew and Tewolde Birhan, who served as the group’s finance, logistics, and resource mobilization officers, were also apprehended.

Additionally, the statement named Dawit Woldegiorgis, former military personnel, and media personalities Habtamu Ayalew and Mesay Mekonnen as coordinators of the covert group, based in foreign countries, and forging ties with an armed group led by former opposition party leader Eskindir Nega. The statement mentioned that Wendosen Aseffa (PhD), assistant professor Sisay Awugechew, and Yordanos Aleme, who were imprisoned since August 2023, had previously led the group.

The task force urged residents to cooperate with security forces in exposing such suspects and warned religious institutions to monitor and address non-religious activities taking place on their premises. AS

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