The Ethiopian government has turned down a request by Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, UN Secretary General’s special envoy to the Horn of Africa, to visit high profile political prisoners including Jawar Mohammed, a senior source has told FI.
Onanga-Anyanga was in town this week and has had a meeting with President Sahle-Work, former Prime Minister Hailemariam and other senior government officials. His request to speak to prisoners was met with an outright rejection by authorities.
A UN country team report circulating internally and amongst the diplomatic community characterises the recent arrests of opposition figures as purely politically motivated. The government’s move to round up and jail prominent opposition figures on trumped up charges and Abiy’s unilateral decision to extend the election indefinitely have caused great concern amongst western observers who once touted the Nobel laureate as a genuine reformist. Meanwhile, faced with increasing pressure from the donor community and rattled by this week’s protests in large parts of Oromia involving road blockages, Abiy’s government has moved Jawar out of solitary confinement, FI has heard from reliable sources. He’s now in the same cell with Bekele Gerba.
Qabsoon itti fufa!