Top Ethiopian dissident Bekele Gerba ‘freed from jail’

ADDIS ABABA – Top Ethiopian dissident Bekele Gerba was released from jail on Tuesday, reported state media, as anti government protest by the country’s largest ethnic group closed roads and businesses near the capital.
Bekele’s release was a key demand of Oromos, the majority ethnic group, whose protest led to a national emergency being declared two years ago.
The attorney general had earlier said charges against Bekele would be dropped. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had also said some jailed politicians would be released.
“Bekele Gerba and other six suspects have been released from prison today,” reports the state affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.
Bekele was arrested shortly after anti-government protests started in December 2015. That unrest, which was sparked by a government proposal to expand the borders of the capital Addis Ababa into the Oromo federal region Oromia, led to hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of arrests.
Meanwhile, disenchanted young men wielding sticks and rocks blocked road and businesses stayed shuttered in Addis Ababa and Oromia on Tuesday, the second day of a three-day strike.
“Our struggle will continue because the government is not treating us very well,” one protested said. Some protester said that they were jobless and had no choice but to stand up to government that wasn’t providing for them
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