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Published On: Sat, Jul 25th, 2015

Ethiopia:Authorities arrests 5 activists as Obama visits Kenya

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125657c839a2f72a50b229f9a064dadde7ee2b16Five opposition activists have been arrested in Ethiopia as US President Obama is due to visit the country this week. The president is reportedly on the way to neighboring Kenya on Friday afternoon.

A pro-democracy protest planned by the young “Blue Party” in conjunction with the Obama visit might get canceled, according to a source in Addis Ababa. Three members of this Blue Party were briefly arrested earlier this week, including Mr Getenet Fekadu, an election observer local rep for the Blue Party during the last May election. The EPRDF ruling party claimed 100% victory in the election.

Another new organization, Gosaye Ethiopia Movement (GEM), had two members arrested while handing out pamphlets in the capital city. US-based Ethiopian Teshome Borago, one of the founders of the GEM group, warned of massive security crackdown by the Addis Ababa government ahead of the Obama visit. Mr Borago said his GEM group has been active on social media countywide and it “peacefully advocates for the rights of over 20 million mixed ‘ethnic Ethiopians’ who are unrepresented and disenfranchised under the current apartheid ethnic-federalism system,” he added.

United States President Barrack Obama is expected to be the first US president to visit Ethiopia. International Human rights groups say Obama should speakout about democracy and corruption issues in Kenya and Ethiopia.

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