#World News

Top Ethiopian opposition figure shot dead

By Kalkidan Yibeltal

A top Ethiopian opposition figure has been shot dead and his body found on the side of a road in his hometown in Meki, in the troubled Oromia region.

Bate Urgessa, 41, was an outspoken critic of the government and had been jailed on several occasions.

Family members told local news site, Addis Standard, people who “looked like government security forces” took him from his hotel room on Tuesday night.

The Oromia regional government denied that security forces were involved.

In recent years Ethiopia has seen an increase in the killing of political and cultural figures.

Mr Bate was a senior official of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – one of the biggest political parties in Ethiopia.

The OLF condemned the “brutal murder” of Mr Bate and said he was a “eloquent, brave and selfless Oromo soul”.

“The unwarranted and extrajudicial killing of conscious and active Oromo political and cultural figures has been a systematic and irresponsible act of silencing the Oromo throughout years and decades,” the statement said.

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