News: Sidama regional government counters SFP allegations, accuses party of spreading discord

Alemayew Timothios, head of Sidama Regional Peace and Security Bureau

Addis Abeba – The Sidama Regional Government has strongly denied allegations made by the Sidama Federalist Party (SFP) that its members were arrested without court orders. Alemayew Timothios, the head of the Sidama Regional Peace and Security Bureau, clarified that SFP members were apprehended only after thorough investigations revealed substantial evidence, following due process.

On 4 October, 2023, Genene Hasana, the head of the SFP Secretariat, told Addis Standard that three party members were unlawfully arrested in Daye Town, located in the Bensa Woreda of the Sidama region. In response, the head of peace and security accused the SFP of deliberately destabilizing the region by spreading false information on social media.

“They are actively working to sow discord and damage relations with neighboring regions,” Alemayew stated. He further accused the SFP of spreading baseless rumors to tarnish the reputation of the regional administration, affirming that the regional government remained committed to upholding law and order.

In a recent statement, the SFP also accused the Sidama Regional Administration of establishing an unauthorized armed group named “Sidama’s Freedom Army” last year, which was allegedly directed towards targeting and suppressing opposition. However, Alemayew strongly denied these allegations, stating that the regional security bureau had not formed any unauthorized armed group. He also refuted the existence of any special force in the region, highlighting that the region followed standard procedures with its regular police organization.

Nevertheless, Genene claimed that illegal detentions are still ongoing. He stated that an additional four members had been detained yesterday in different parts of the region, and their families were informed by the police that the arrests were authorized by higher authorities due to their social media posts, without adhering to proper legal procedures.

Alemayew highlighted that being affiliated with a political organization does not exempt one from legal consequences. He stressed the principle that every person, regardless of their party affiliation, including members of the ruling Prosperity Party, must be held accountable within the country’s legal system. AS

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