Ethiopia: EPRDF, Forum row over membership of dead activist

National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE)
National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE)
National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE)
National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE)

By Birtukan Fenta

The ruling EPEDF and the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (Forum) are in disagreement over which party Biansa Taba, a political activist who died on April 16, belonged.

Forum alleged that Biansa was its member and that he was bludgeoned with the butt of a gun on April 7 and died in a hospital on April 16. Beyene Petros, Chairman of Forum, said that Biansa was a member of the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM), which is part of the Forum alliance.

Shimeles Kemal, Vice-Chairman of the Office of Government Communications Affairs, said that the manner and the reason over which Biansas’s death occurred as well as his membership of OFDM as alleged by Forum was a complete lie.

“Biansa died not because he was beaten but from complication of malaria and typhoid fever. We can also produce documents that he was a member of the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO) until he passed away,” he added.
He further said that the cause of the death of Biansa was verified through an autopsy.

Beyene on his part said that he had heard of the claim by EPRDF and that he believed whatever documents it says it has of Biansa’s membership of OPDO was fabricated.

Reporter