Ethiopia’s Prime Minister grants amnesty to political prisoners in bid for peace

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Ethiopia’s Prime Minister says his government granted amnesty to some imprisoned political leaders in a bid to reach sustainable peace in the country.

They include members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, a group that the government has been battling against in the country’s North for over a year – and which the parliament has designated as a terrorist group.

Some Ethiopians continue to express anger about the government’s decision to release the political leaders, with some accusing it of undermining the country’s own justice system.

But others believe what Prime minister Abiy Ahmed says – that the move is a vital step towards achieving peace as the country embarks on a national dialogue.

The African Union chairperson says he hopes the release of the prisoners will lead to a peaceful and consensual solution to the political and institutional challenges in Ethiopia.

But the cessation of hostilities in the country’s North is yet to be achieved. The United States has said ongoing airstrikes in Tigray are unacceptable.

Meanwhile, UNICEF has condemned the airstrikes in parts of Ethiopia’s North on the 5th and 7th of January, saying they affected internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, leaving scores of civilians, including children, dead and many more injured.

Over 50 people are believed to have been killed in the attacks.

UNICEF has accused both sides in the conflict of brutal acts of violence, including against children.