Mekelle: Gedab News learned that seven members, including six senior members, of the Eritrean Saho Movement have been arrested by security forces in Adi-Grat, in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Our sources also indicated that three persons, including the chairman, were arrested on August 10, 2017, while the other four were arrested on August 21, 2017.
The arrested persons have not been presented in a court nor publicly accused of any wrongdoing. None of their friends or members of the movement that they led were able to visit them. They include five members of the executive Committee, a member of the central committee, and a regular member.
In the list below, no, 1 to 5 are executive members, while number 6 is a central committee member, and number 7, is a regular member:
- Ismail Idris, chairman. Age, 35
- Idris Shaaban, deputy chairman. Age, 31
- Ismael Ahmed Ismael. Age, 33
- Saleh Dawoud Barhaba. Age, 28
- Ibrahim Hussein. Age, 34
- Ibrahim Ramadan. Age, 34
- Abdu Ali Shum. Age 34
Though the Saho Movement was part of an ethnic group umbrella that was hastily formed in Makelle, under the auspices of the Ethiopian allies prior to the 2011 congress of the Eritrean National Congress for Democratic Change which was held in Hawassa. To date, none of their Eritrean opposition allies have attempted to inform the public about the arrest of the leaders of their sister-organizations.
In 2007, a group of disaffected Eritrean conscripts and regular soldiers belonging to the Saho tribes had escaped to Ethiopia and began to organize themselves to fight against the PFDJ regime. By April 2009, the social grievances between the Saho speaking tribes and the Eritrean regime was exasperated when a group of around 70 rebellious conscripts and regular soldiers clashed with the security forces in the Akele-Guzai region.
Thereafter, a heavily armed battalion was sent to quash the rebellion; it arrested some of the rebels and many citizens from Senafe and Adi Keyih. A group of the rebels took to the mountains refusing to surrender. However, overwhelmed by the hot pursuit of the Eritrean security forces, they escaped to Ethiopia and joined the Saho movement.
In the last four years, the Ethiopian hosts and the Saho movement went through turbulent relations. As it appears now, they are seemingly not wanted to operate in Ethiopia though the movement has scores of armed rebels who are stranded in the wilderness of the border areas with no direction or leadership.