Ethiopian Official Receives Death Sentence for Rebel Support

June 16th, 2010 | by addis portal |

By Jason McLure

June 16 (Bloomberg) — Ethiopia’s Federal High Court sentenced a former top regional official to death for killing three people and organizing a separatist group in the western Benishangul Gumuz region, the state news agency reported.

Jemua Ruphael Amen was the former chief of the planning and economic bureau in Benishangul Gumuz’s regional government, the Ethiopian News Agency reported yesterday. He received military training in Eritrea and formed the separatist Benishangul Gumuz Liberation Movement, it said, citing a statement from the Ministry of Justice.

Three other members of the group were sentenced to 10 years in prison, the news agency said.

Relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea have been tense since the two countries fought a 1998-2000 border war. Ethiopia accuses Eritrea of backing ethnic separatist rebel movements in the country’s eastern Somali region and southern Oromiya region.

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