By ARGAW ASHINE- Since the Arab uprisings the OLF, ONLF and Ginbot-7 have reportedly been exploring ways of working together. “The negotiations are underway and we hope that we will have a united front soon,” said Mr Andargachew Tisige, the secretary general of the exiled Ginbot-7, which favours armed struggle.

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Source: Africa Review

Is Meles Zenawi becoming paranoid? Or is he laying the ground for a new round of crackdowns on his government’s favourite targets–the media and the opposition?

Ethiopia observers were left groping for answers after the country’s prime minister recently launched into a tirade against perceived enemies, leaving no doubt that something had unhinged him.

The October 20 outburst seemed to have been inspired by the capture of Col Muammar Gaddafi just an hour before the Ethiopian premier was scheduled to address parliament.

Col Gaddafi was to be later killed sparking a global debate, but few African leaders, including Ethiopia’s premier, have made their feelings about the former Libyan leader’s fate known.

Mr Meles’ presence in parliament was to mark its first opening in the year 2004 (according to the Ethiopian calendar), but he instead used his two-and-a-half hour stay to rail against journalists, who termed vagabonds, and the opposition, who he referred to as terrorists.

The prime minister said he had evidence that the senior leadership in the main opposition party coalition, the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum–known in Amharic as Medrek, were backed by arch-foe Eritrea and were plotting terrorist acts.

“We know in our hearts that they are involved in terrorism acts. However, we are aware that this is not enough before a court of law. So we will be patient until we are certain we have enough evidence against them,” he said.

“We don’t want to ruin everything by moving hastily.”

A surprise

The fierce speech was a surprise to many given that the prime minister bestrides his country’s affairs like a colossus. The former revolutionary has been in power since 1991 and in last year May elections won a new term, taking 99.6 per cent of the vote

His ruling coalition party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front controls all but one seat in the 547-member parliament.

But despite such power, it would seem the leader of Africa’s second-most populous nation of about 83 million people is not resting easy.

About 175 people are already in jail following crackdowns this year on dissenting voices.

Ruling party supporters.

Mr Meles in his speech further threatened another round of arrests once he had the evidence to back up his claims. The earlier arrests have mainly been based on a far-reaching anti-terrorism law passed in 2009 but activated this year.

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