The announcement came after the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) held a 17-day conference to address national challenges, including recurring protests and conflicts between Ethiopian Somali and Oromo ethnic groups, as well as distrust among member organizations of the ruling party.
In a joint press conference on current national and regional issues, delivered by chairpersons of the member organizations, the premier also announced the closure of an investigation center commonly known as “Maekelawi”, which government opponents say the regime had reportedly been using to commit atrocities against the people under the guise of investigation.
“In order to build national consensus and widen the democratic platform, a decision has been made to drop charges and pardon imprisoned politicians,” Hailemariam declared at the event. The amnesty includes all previously sentenced politicians and other individuals.
He said a decision has also been made to alter the “Maekelawi” detention center into a national museum. As a replacement, an investigation center which meets international standards was built, as per the proclamation approved by Ethiopia’s House of People’s Representatives.