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15 members of Ethiopia’s TPLF party arraigned in court

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15 members of former Ethiopia’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), appeared in court on Friday.

The government said they are to face charges of treason, launching attacks against the army and engaging in an armed uprising.

They were arrested following a bloody conflict in the Tigray region depicting armed TPLF members and the Ethiopian federal army.

Among members who appeared in court include Abay Woldu, former Tigray president who served for eight years till 2018 and Sebhat Nega who is one of the founders of the group.

The Ethiopian National Defense Force announced on January 8 that it had killed top officials of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

They included TPLF spokesperson Sekoture Getachew and Daniel Assefa, the former head of the Tigray Finance Bureau.

Zeray Asgedom and Abebe Asgedom, two other core members of the TPLF, were also killed during the military operation.

In a statement, the head of the Defense Forces Deployment Department, General Tesfaye Ayalew, confirmed the deaths, saying that in addition, nine other TPLF leaders were arrested following a joint operation conducted by his army and federal security organs.

An unspecified number of soldiers were killed last year and a sizable amount of military hardware had been looted by TPLF forces, prompting the government to launch a massive law enforcement operation.

On Nov. 28, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared the operation, saying what remained was apprehending the TPLF leadership and their militants, reconstruction and rehabilitation in the restive region, and putting in place the structures of an interim administration for Tigray.