Daniel Berhane, HornAffairs
Second-in-command of Ginbot 7 (designated as terrorist group by Ethiopian government), is in detention in Yemen. The group threatened to retaliate “in any way and at any place”.
Ginbot-7 has been described as a group aiming at a violent regime-change in Ethiopia by the US state department. It is designated as terrorist by Addis Ababa and the regional inter-governmental body, IGAD.
Andargachew Tsegie, second-in-command of the organization, is in detention in Yemen, according to the statement on the organization’s official website.
Yemeni security officials detained Andaregachew Tsegie on Monday June 23 when his flight arrived at Sana’a international airport on transit.
It was not immediately clear where Andargachew Tsegie was heading.
The group’s statement indicated that Andargachew Tsigie was travelling by Yemenia Airways, but didn’t disclose the origin or destination of the flight.
In a recording of Ginbot 7′s internal meeting, leaked last June 2013, the group’s leader Berhanu Nega was heard speaking of a half a million US dollar financial aid he received from the Eritrean government.
Some speculate that the source of that money was Qatar, which is one of the few remaining allies of the Eritrean regime and also infamous for financing spoilers in the mid-east and Africa.
And, that Andargachew Tsigie might have been en route from Asmara, the Eritrean capital, to Doha, Qatar. However, others dismissed it, citing the recent rapprochement between Addis Ababa and Doha.
It is not clear whether Ethiopia and Yemen have an extradition treaty.
However, the two nations signed, last May, “a number of agreements and protocols of bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, higher education and standards and specifications”, according to media reports. The event was taken as a signal of a resumption of the long-standing bonds established by Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Yemeni former President Salah.
Yemeni officials also hope to import electricity from Ethiopia.
Ginbot 7 disclosed that its week-long effort to get Andargachew Tsegie released bore no fruit.
The group’s statement also threatened that there will be consequences if Yemen extradites Andargchew Tsegie to Ethiopia.
The group said: “We will retaliate in any way and at anyplace for any harm on the body, sprit and life of Andargachew Tsigie”.