WASHINGTON, DC – Yemeni authorities on June 24 arrested a top Ethiopian rebel group leader while he was in transit at Sanaa airport, sources said.
Andargatchew Tsige, secretary of Ginbot 7, a rebel group based in Eritrea, arrived in the Yemeni capital aboard Yemenia Airlines. He was waiting for his flight when Yemeni security men whisked him away into detention. Fears are mounting he might be extradited to Ethiopia.
The countries in the region, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, Sudan, and Djibouti are rogue states they don’t really need ‘extradition treaties’ to hand over political opponents as ‘convicted criminals.’
“Yemen should understand that any harm befalling the human rights, democracy and justice activist Andargatchew Tsige would painfully hurt the interests of the Ethiopian people who are struggling for freedom from life under the brutal TPLF regime,” the rebel group Ginbot 7 said in a statement.
“We call for his immediate release; any attempt to hand over Andargachew to the regime in Addis Ababa would irrevocably damage the age-old relations between Ethiopia and Yemen,” the rebel group said in its press release.
Andargachew’s life was checkered by arrests, tortures, and exiled life before he helped found Ginbot 7, an Eritrea-based armed group vowing to overthrow the regime in Addis by all means possible.
In June 2012, Andargachew, and other top leaders of Ginbot 7, including Ginbot 7 chairman Dr Berhanu Nega, were tried on trumped-up terrorism charges and sentenced to life in absentia.