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AG charges alleged OLF operatives for explosives attack

AG charges alleged OLF operatives for explosives attack

The attack was said to be an assassination on the life of PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD)

The Federal Attorney General has instituted charges against five individuals who were alleged operatives of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) on Friday September 28, 2018 in connection to the June 23 bomb attack at a rally held in support of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at Meskel Square.

According to the Federal Attorney General which filed the charges at the Criminal Bench of the Lideta Division of the Federal High Court, the bomb attack was orchestrated to assassinate the Prime Minister of the country: Abiy Ahmed (PhD).

The alleged attackers, namely Getu Girma, Birhanu Jafar, Tilahun Getachew, Bahiru Tolosa and Dessalegn Tesfaye, were motivated to attack the PM in the belief that the government led by PM Abiy Ahmed is in the place of what they believed to be the rightful ruling group which is the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the charge file details.

In addition, the charge explained how the alleged operatives were driven by a belief that the Prime Minister lacked the support in his base constituency which is the Oromia regional State and among the Oromos.

Believing that the PM is determined to implement HR128, a human right document which was endorsed by US Congress few months back, the alleged operatives were also convinced that PM Abiy was not genuine in his intentions and wants to safeguard his self-interest, the charges further state. Ultimately, the attackers believed that the PM did not stand for the interest of the Oromo and hence driven by that conviction they orchestrated the bomb attack at the mass rally killing two and causing injuries of 150 people.  

Furthermore, the charges also disclosed that the attack was masterminded and coordinated by one Genet Tamiru (Toleshi Tamiru), a woman who is said to be based in Kenya.

The overall investigation process which sought the forensic assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took close to three months since the incident on June 23, 2018. Starting from the immediate aftermath of the attack a number of groups and individuals have been placed under arrest in connection to the rally attack.

In that process, the list of arrests included high profile police and security apparatus officials which included the deputy commissioner of the Addis Ababa Police Commission Girma Kassa, who was released on the bail few weeks ago. Including Girma 14 suspects was granted bail, with bail bond for Girma set at 15, 000 birr while 10 other officers from the Federal Police Commission were also released on bail ranging from 6,000 to 9,000 birr.

Furthermore, Head of Anti-terrorism directorate at National Intelligence and Security Services, Tesfaye Orga was also among the high-ranking officials incriminated in the June 23 attack. Tesfaye is yet to face charges and so far he is under investigation without bail rights.