Ethiopia has filed terrorism charges against leading opposition leader Jawar Mohammed and other activists, a move that risks further inflaming tensions in the country’s restive Oromia region.
The charges announced on Saturday relate to deadly violence that erupted in July after the killing of Hachalu Hundessa, an iconic Oromo singer and prominent voice in anti-government protests that led to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed coming to power in 2018.
Authorities said more than 180 people were killed in the unrest.
Overall, the attorney general’s office announced charges against more than 20 suspects, including Oromo opposition leader Bekele Garba, in a Facebook post. The charges include “trying to incite ethnic and religious-based conflict to cause citizens to turn on their fellow citizens”.
Among the other suspects are several high-profile Abiy critics living abroad such as prominent Oromo activist Tsegaye Regassa and former Abiy ally-turned-critic Birhanemeskel Abebe.
The suspects are expected to appear in court on Monday.