Opposition chief 'extradited' back to Ethiopia

People walk in front of Ethiopian flags in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on September 10, 2007 (AFP Photo/Jose Cendon) (AFP/File)

Addis Ababa (AFP) - An exiled Ethiopian opposition leader with British citizenship has been extradited to Addis Ababa "for slaughter", an opposition group claimed on Friday.

Andargachew Tsige, secretary general of Ginbot 7 -- labelled a terrorist organisation under Ethiopian law -- was arrested while in transit through Yemen last month. Britain has already expressed "deep concern" about his fate.

"Andargachew has been given for slaughter," Ginbot 7 said in a statement, warning Yemen that it had made a "historical mistake".

Tsige is Ethiopian born with British citizenship.

Britain's Foreign Office said it was investigating reports and working to confirm Andargachew’s whereabouts.

"UK officials have pressed the Yemeni authorities at senior levels to establish his whereabouts," the Foreign Office said in a statement.

"We are aware of reports that he may now be in Ethiopia and we are urgently seeking confirmation from the relevant authorities given our deep concerns about the case."

"We declare a war in the name of Andargachew for justice, freedom and equality," Ginbot 7 added.

Ethiopia officials could not confirm if Andargachew was in Addis Ababa.

"I have no idea," foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti told AFP.

The US-based Ginbot 7 was founded by the former mayor of Addis Ababa, Berhanu Nega, currently living in exile in America.

Government spokesman Getachew Reda on Thursday called Andargachew "a criminal" who "definitely will have his day in court".

Several people were convicted under Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism legislation in 2012 for having links to the group, including journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage.

Ginbot 7 says it is fighting for democracy in Ethiopia and calls for the violent overthrow of the ruling party.

Its name commemorates the Ethiopian calendar date -- May 15 in the Gregorian calendar -- when post-election violence in 2005 left over 200 people dead.