The Ethiopian government announced Friday it would pardon and release a number of detained political figures, including members of the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), in a bid to promote national dialogue and unity.
“Its purpose is to pave the way for a lasting solution to Ethiopia’s problems in a peaceful, non-violent way,” the government communications service said in a statement.
It listed several leading members of the TPLF, which has been locked in a brutal conflict with government forces in northern Ethiopia since November 2020, as well as prominent opposition leaders from the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups.
It was not immediately clear how many of those granted amnesty had yet been freed.
However, the Balderas for Genuine Democracy announced earlier the release of its founder Eskinder Nega, a leading Amhara opposition figure who was among those named by the government.
The announcement came after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a statement calling for “national reconciliation” as Ethiopia celebrated Orthodox Christmas.
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