Monday, June 27, 2011

No agreement to extradite Berhanu Nega: US

(Monday, 27 June 2011, Capital)--The United States Government will not extradite Berhanu Nega (PhD), founder of the Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy, despite an Ethiopian parliament resolution that designated his grouping a terrorist group, Capital understands.

Following parliament’s resolution, the Ethiopian government says it will seek cooperation from partners to eliminate threats including from the Ginbot 7. It appears its major ally, the US, could hold back.

“There is currently no extradition treaty between the United States and Ethiopia,” said Diane Brandt, the US embassy spokesperson, when asked if the US will handover Berhanu Nega to Ethiopian authorities if asked to do so.

There is a standing arrest warrant for Berhanu who was handed out the death penalty by a court in 2009 after being tried in absentia against charges of trying to topple the constitutional order and assassinate senior government officials.

The Untied States and Ethiopia have for long enjoyed close cooperation in fighting violent terrorist activities in the horn of Africa areas particularly Somali based groups such as Al-Shabaab which together with the infamous al-Qa’ida were designated as terrorist groups in an Ethiopian parliament resolution that came on June 14.

A first of its kind, under the Ethiopian Anti-Terrorism law endorsed in 2009, three domestic groups were similarly designated terrorists by the resolution.

Unlike many countries’ laws that empower executives to designate associations as terrorist, the law mandates parliament conduct such measures.  Other than Ginbot 7, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) were also named terrorists.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in a press conference last year, said that Ethiopia will weigh officially asking the US to handover Berhanu and other Ginbot 7 leaders residing in the US.

According to a senior American political analyst and official who spoke after the Ginbot 7 convictions, it may not be in the best interest of the Ethiopian government to ask for the extraditions. Read more from Capital »

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it is better to arrest Meles instead of Birhanu. Because he is the source of the problem for 20 years but not Birhanu.

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