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Source: addisstandard / August 26, 2021

Addis Abeba, August 26/2021 – At a hearing conducted today, judges at the Southern Command First Instance Military Court have sentenced former members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (E.N.D.F) with prison terms.

The sentences handed down today range from eight years to 18 years in prison, state media EBC reported. The judges passed a guilty verdict on the defendants during a hearing conducted on August 25.

The Military Court has looked at eight different files. Accordingly, the first file was under Colonel Kahsu Habtu Tseliy, Colonel Hagos Assefa W/Nigussie, and Lt. Colonel Hailay Gebru G/Teklay.

The files from 2 – 8 were filed under: Captain Basha Kifle Fisseha; Colonel Kifle Fisseha; Sergeant Mebrihatu Tilaye; Soldier Mekonnen Kinfe; Sergeant Ferede Yibas; Deputy Decanus Hagos Berhe; and Deputy Decanus Kifle Nigussie.

THE COURT ALSO RULED THAT THE DEFENDANTS PLANNED TO ASSASSINATE SENIOR MEMBERS OF NON-TIGRAYAN ARMY OFFICERS AND TAKE THE ENTIRE ARMY TO THE TIGRAY REGIONAL STATE

During the sentencing, the judges at the Military Court indicated that the accused under the file name of Colonel Kahsu Habtu were found guilty of forming a group of Tigrigna-speaking army members among members who were on duty in northern Ethiopia on November 04/2020; and organizing an operation outside of the army’s command leadership. They are also accused of using the cell to repeat a similar attack, which was carried out against members of the North Command. The court also ruled that the defendants planned to assassinate senior members of non-Tigrayan army officers and take the entire army to the Tigray regional state.

The ruling further stated that after the start of the war on November 04, and following the gathering of Tigrayan members of the army at a base, the defendants under the first file have rallied, killing security guards assigned to them and planned to leave for Kenya in order to lobby at an embassy and defame their country by claiming that the people of Tigray were being abused.

In the remaining seven file, the defendants are accused of recruiting troops for the Tigray Special Forces, spreading unfounded rumors, directly participated in activities that dismantle the institution, sending members to train Tigray Special Forces, instigated doubts to create disunity within the army, and secretly organizing cells to dismantle the army, and engaging in activities to undermine trust in the government, among others.

On August 06, judges who presided at the Western Command First Instance Military Court have sentenced members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), described by state media as “Tigrinya Speaking”, and who are accused of conspiring with the Tigrayn People Liberation Front (TPLF) to launch an attack on the military.

The army members were charged with treason for many of the crimes they were accused of and were sentenced to death and life imprisonment.AS

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