Addis Abeba – The Sidama Federalist Party (SFP) has accused the Sidama regional government of unlawfully arresting three of its members in Daye town, located in Bensa Woreda of the Sidama region. According to Genene Hasana, the head of the party’s secretariat, Alemayew Ayele, Habtamu Tariku, and Getahun Genale were arrested without warrants.
Genene told Addis Standard that Alemayew was detained in Daye town on 2 October, 2023, at noon while he was traveling back home to Bura Woreda. The following day, Habtamu and Getahun were also arrested in Daye while carrying out their party duties. “The party strongly condemned these arrests since they were made without court orders,” he said.
Genene claims that the Sidama regional government is actively working to apprehend opposition members, forcing some to go into hiding. He further emphasized that the SFP believes these arrests are an attempt to hinder the party from investigating and exposing widespread corruption within the regional administration.
“The party demands the immediate release of the three detained members, fair legal procedures, and an end to persecution,” said Genene. According to the head of the party’s secretariat, the SFP is currently exploring legal avenues to secure their freedom.
Earlier this week, the SFP released a robust statement addressing the continuous political and social concerns in the region. In its statement, the SFP asserts that since the inception of the Sidama region in June 2020, the populace has endured mismanagement, corruption, injustice, arbitrary arrests, and ethnic divisions. The party contends that these problems have consequently led to wider societal and economic hardships.
The SFP also alleged that the regional security bureau established an unauthorized armed group named “Sidama’s Freedom Army” last year with the purpose of targeting and suppressing opposition. According to the party, it has submitted evidence to federal prosecutors and security services, providing documented plans of this group to carry out “terrorist activities” against civilians and undermine peace.
To address these concerns, the political party has advocated for impartial federal investigations into the accusations, accompanied by international oversight, media reporting, and support from human rights organizations. AS
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