An Eritrean based Ethiopian opposition members reported to be in detention

An Eritrean based Ethiopian opposition members reported to be in detention

Radio Erena: 18 March 2015

kemal gelchu

Several members of the Eritrean based Ethiopian opposition party of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) are reported to be in detention in the Eritrean military camp – Afambo, confirmed Radio Erena sources from the area.

The members, whose number hasn’t been verified yet, are believed to be members of the Ethiopian coalition opposition forces in Eritrea and have been trying to dissociate themselves from the shaking coalition party.


Ever since the 2005/2006 turmoil within itself, a part of the OLF whose membership is dominated by former members of the Derg regime decided to work with the Eritrean government and wage a military struggle against the Ethiopian government and the second faction – the political and diplomatic force, based in the West, had decided to separate itself from the Eritrean based faction.

According to the sources, most of the members of Eritrean based OLF- led by Brigadier General Kemal Gelchu have repeatedly been harassed by Eritrean authorities due to the front’s disagreements with the government of Eritrea on many military and political decisions. Accordingly, several of its members are reported to be forced to abandon the front flee for their lives.

Several attempts to push the front to form a coalition with other Eritrean based opposition parties such as ‘Gunbet Sebat’ and ‘Arbegnoch’ couldn’t be substantiated.

The Eritrean government has shifted its focus to supporting the Tigriyan People’s Democratic Movement [TPDM] and this has created a lot of frustration on the other opposition groups from various Ethiopian tribes, which have apparently showed some opposition against the Eritrean government. Consequently, the Eritrean government is detaining many of the members of these parties under the pretext of trying to mend their relations with the Ethiopian government and for trying to escape to Ethiopia.

Some of the detainees are reported to have been in prison for over two years.