An Ethiopian opposition lawmaker has been arrested by government security forces in the country’s capital Addis Abbaba, his family members said.

Dessalegn Chanie’s relatives told the BBC no official reason has yet been provided for his detention.

Mr Dessalegn won a federal parliamentary seat representing opposition party National Movement of the Amhara (Nama) in 2021.

Due to Mr Dessalegn’s status as an MP he is entitled to immunity from prosecution.

Parliament is meant to convene and revoke this immunity before a lawmaker is arrested, but this has not happened.

He is the second opposition legislator to be arrested, since fighting in the Amhara region began last year.


Last August, Christian Tadele, an MP from the Nama, was arrested and still remains in custody.

Both lawmakers were known for voicing strong criticisms against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration.

These arrests come as the conflict between local militia and the army in Amhara continues to rage on.

Prime Minister Abiy imposed a six-month state of emergency in early August to try to stop the clashes.

Fighting has continued to be reported in some areas in Amhara, with media outlets affiliated with the militias accusing government forces of killing unarmed civilians in a small town called Merawi, 35 km south of the regional capital Bahirdar.

The authorities have not yet responded to the accusations and the BBC has not independently confirmed the allegations.



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