Ethiopia Drops Dozens of Graft, Rights Violations, Coup Cases

Samuel Gebre

(Bloomberg) --

Ethiopia dropped charges against 63 people, for charges including an attempted coup, human rights violations and corrupt dealings at the military-linked conglomerate Metals and Engineering Corp.

Zemen Bank founder Ermyas Amelga and Biniam Tewolde, a former deputy director of the Information Network Security Agency, were among those whose cases were dropped, according to the Office of the Attorney General. Suspects arrested in connection with an attempted coup on June 22 and for violence in Sidama region during a push for a self-governing regional state were also released.

“This is an encouraging sign that the government is prioritizing reconciliation rather than punishment for alleged crimes committed before and during the current transition,” said William Davison, a senior research analyst with the International Crisis Group. “For the approach to be successful, all actors need to adopt similarly conciliatory stances, which would help create better conditions for a successful election and negotiations over contentious issues.”

Ethiopia is scheduled to hold elections on Aug. 29.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samuel Gebre in Abidjan at sgebre@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gordon Bell at gbell16@bloomberg.net, Helen Nyambura, Pauline Bax

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