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22 November 2017 11:13 (South Africa)

Ethiopia convicts dozens of soldiers in coup plot

An Ethiopian court has convicted 27 serving and former soldiers of planning a coup - charges that carry the death penalty. Reuters says a further 13 men were earlier convicted in absentia, including an Ethiopian-born US citizen, Berhanu Nega, who was jailed for crying foul over the government's victory in a May 2005 election. Berhanu, who was elected mayor of the capital, Addis Ababa, at the time, was later pardoned and left for the US. In the months and years subsequent to the election, security forces killed and arrested hundreds of opposition supporters protesting against fraud. In 2006, a judicial inquiry into the violence accused Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of paying lip service to democratic reform. The judge who headed the enquiry later fled to Europe after receiving death threats. Read more: Reuters, AP, Amnesty International USA

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