Ethiopian opposition says gov’t afraid of revolt

Ethiopian Opposition leader Beyene Petros
Ethiopian Opposition leader Beyene Petros

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia’s main opposition coalition says 68 party members and sympathizers have been arrested over the last month in a possible sign the government is afraid of an Egypt-style revolt.

Opposition leader Beyene Petros said Thursday that opposition members are not advocating for anti-government protests. Petros said most of the 68 arrests took place March 13 to 15 in the West Shoa and East Wollega regions of Ethiopia.

Ethiopian government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said police arrested 121 people from an Eritrea-based secessionist group. He said he was not aware of other arrests.

Ethiopia saw large anti-government protests after disputed elections in 2005. Security forces killed almost 200 people in clashes with protesters.