Ethiopia arrests ex-govt minister Bereket Simon over corruption

By Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban
Ethiopia’s former Communication Minister, Bereket Simon, has been arrested by the Amhara regional government at his residence in the capital, Addis Ababa, multiple news sources, state and private, have reported.

Simon is also a founding member of the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF. Multiple local mdia channels are reporting that his arrest is in connection with corruption.

Another arrested official is Tadesse Kassa, a former top civil servant. Simon was a member of the Amhara regional bloc in the EPRDF.

Zigale Gebeyehu, head of the regional anti-corruption bureau told local journalists that Bereket and Tadesse were detained on suspicion of corruption and that both are now held in police custody in BahirDar city, the capital of the region. ·

Bereket was known among other things for his adamant defense of gov actions, including the killings of 193 protesters in Addis by state security forces during the 2005 election massacres. He is also the man who in 2012 announced to the world that Meles Zenawi had passed away.

Zecharias Zelalem@ZekuZelalem
Arrested with him is Tadesse Kassa, a colleague of Bereket’s at both the Amhara National Democratic Movement party, and Tiret, the conglomerate accused of monopolizing the Amhara region’s business sector. Tadesse has been involved with Tiret for decades.

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His party, now the Amhara Democratic Party ousted him from executive committee membership.

Bereket resigned his position in government in October 2017 at the time as an advisor in charge of Policy Studies and Research to ex Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Later in December, the state-affiliated FBC reported that Bereket like then Parliament Speaker Abadula Gemeda, had rescinded their resignations. He eventually exited after Abiy came to power in April 2017.

October 2017: Why an E.U. MP insisted Bereket be prosecuted

Bereket Simon, a former top advisor to Ethiopian Premier Hailemariam Desalegn must be prosecuted for crimes against Ethiopians.

This is the view expressed by a Member of the European parliament, Ana Gomes, after news of the Bereket’s resignation was announced on earlier this week.

The Portuguese politician who doubles as a Socialist Member of the European parliament also had hard words for the former advisor to Desalegn in charge of Policy Studies and Research Center.

She described him as ‘cynical and a cruel totalitarian,’ during dealings with him. She added, ‘(He) Should be tried for his crimes against Ethiopians.’ It is not known the nature of the dealings both had and what crimes she is referring to.

Ana Gomes, MEP

Bereket Simon is 1 of the cynical & cruel totalitarians with whom I have dealt in #Ethiopia. Should be tried for his crimes agst Ethiopians!

1 COMMENT

  1. Freedom
    Freedom is a birthright for every human being that was given by GOD. If you are expecting it from another human like yourself that is unhealthy thinking, and you need to stop this illusion idea. As a person, everyone should concern about his/her liberty of being in this world, and stand up to own it. I heard from one of those 40 or above Addis Ababa University teachers who were the victims of TPLF, he said that “ he/she is worthless when as a person decides to live like a pig and die like a dog and also agreed to live in the free will of a tyrant”. What we see in Ethiopia at this moment is something that looks like a change because that we cannot deny it, and I don’t know for how long, but yes people are saying whatever they feel in public and media, and we don’t have to thank anybody for that because it should be that way all the time in the first place. In my understanding, GOD involved bringing this change of opportunity for everyone, with good and bad personalities in the land called Ethiopia; so it is up to everybody as an individual to use it properly including autocrats.
    Change expectations
    If we are really talking about a real change, not a cosmetic temporary change; we need to focus with a full concentration. What should be the preparation for a real change? We have to do a complete institutional change. How?
    Creating a Commission that takes over the power from the current government and takes responsibilities for a 1 to 2 years time, and facilitate the situation to transfer to a next level. The commission should include all parts of the society in Ethiopia.
    Ones the Commission is created, its job should be ending up all the structure of the previous government like the Parliament, National Security Office, Justice system, Police and National Army; and primarily start and genuinely reconstructing Justice, National Security, Police, and Army systems. Since the commission is the one who is administering the country there is no need to worry about the parliamentary system because that will be the job of the next level.
    After creating Justice, National Security, Police and Army institutions that represent all the Ethiopian people, the next step will be to preparing a Constitution and let all the Ethiopian people comment on it; after all the Constitution should represent every individual who lives inside the geographical area of the country Ethiopia.
    These are the main important changes to be done if we are talking about a change in Ethiopia and that will open the road for the rest of the changes we want to do.
    Accountability
    To talk about accountability, we have to publicize all the institutions mentioned above first. Then everyone who is responsible for different kinds of crimes and inhuman activities that was done against innocent citizens of Ethiopia for the last 3 decays should face a trial based on the law that was approved and accepted by the people. What we are seeing now is completely a joke to me because those who were actors in the system for the last 30 years are acting like they are standing up for justice, and showing us they are bringing to justice there own friends. Actually, we don’t know who the accusers are, and what was their part of contribution for all the crimes and merciless acts against the people of Ethiopia all this time. So those who were the part of the cruel system for the last decays cannot show us justice. Instead, we have to work for the above 1 – 3 priorities first and we will get there to bring the criminals to justice after we build publically approved institutions. So my advice is let us concentrate on the priorities we need to own first; otherwise just being happy for temporary shows don’t take us to what we deserve as a human being. Those who have ruled us for the last 3 decays are still in power in one way or another, and they are working very hard to be a winner, which means to continue as EPRDF (TPLF, OPDO and the other two). Yes, there is a power competition between TPLF and OPDO, but that doesn’t mean they are really against each other because they all know that without the continuation of EPRDF, every one of them will face justice depending what damage they have done against the People of Ethiopia and Ethiopia as a country, and they know it very well.
    GOD Bless Ethiopia and its People!!!

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