“I am Andargachew” protest rally at Washington DC Yemen Embassy – today July 8 at 9 AM
An assistant to Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi privately told a British official that the President was not informed about the abduction of Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsige, Ethiopian Review learned.
The abduction was carried out by a few senior Yemeni intelligence officers who were paid $1 million USD by the Woyanne secret police to kidnap Ato Andargachew while he was in a transit flight through Yemen, according to our sources.
When Ato Andargachew arrived in Sana’a on a Yemenia Airlines flight on June 22, at least 7 Woyanne agents, along with Yemeni secret police were waiting for him at the airport. He was then flown to Addis Ababa on a military aircraft and detained in a nondescript house where “high-value” political prisoners are tortured and interrogated by Getachew Assefa and crew.
Andargachew Tsige, a British national, is secretary general of an exiled Ethiopian opposition movement, Ginbot 7. He was arrested at Sana’a airport on 23 June by the Yemeni security services while in transit between the United Arab Emirates and Eritrea.
“The British knew he was being held in Yemen for almost a week but they did nothing,” said Ephrem Madebo, a spokesman for Ginbot 7. “We are extremely worried about Mr Andargachew, because the Ethiopians kill at will.”
The Foreign Office, which called in the Yemeni ambassador earlier this week, said it was urgently seeking confirmation that Andargachew was in Ethiopia.
“If confirmed this would be deeply concerning given our consistent requests for information from the Yemeni authorities, the lack of any notification of his detention in contravention of the Vienna convention and our concerns about the death penalty that Mr Tsige could face in Ethiopia,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
It added: “The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle … We continue to call on all countries around the world that retain the death penalty to cease its use.”
Ginbot 7 is among the largest of Ethiopia’s exiled opposition movements. The party was founded by Berhanu Nega, who was elected mayor of Addis Ababa in 2005. Refusing to accept the result, the prime minister, Meles Zenawi, declared a state of emergency, which was followed by days of protest and clashes on the streets of the capital.
Berhanu Nega was jailed, and founded Ginbot 7 on his release. Accused of attempting to overthrow the Ethiopian government, he and Andargachew Tsige were sentenced to death in absentia. Ginbot 7 was declared a terrorist organisation. The party says it stands for the peaceful end to what it describes as the Ethiopian dictatorship.
Andargachew was travelling to Eritrea, which has clashed with Ethiopia since a border war between the two countries ended in June 2000.
The Eritrean authorities host a number of exiled Ethiopian movements, including some attempting to overthrow the Ethiopian government.
Ana Gomes, a Portuguese member of the European parliament who led the EU observer mission to the 2005 Ethiopian elections, has written to William Hague, calling on the UK foreign secretary to intervene on Andargachew’s behalf, saying: “I urge you now to do the utmost to ensure his release and protection and his return to the United Kingdom as soon as possible.”