Ethiopia has charged 55 opposition members with trying to launch a
rebellion, a government prosecutor told said on Wednesday.
More than one hundred
opposition figures are already on trial, accused of plotting a coup after
disputed 2005 elections.
Most of those already
on trial, as well as the 55 newly accused, belong to the main opposition
Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD).
"This is something
different. It has to do with activities of CUD members who are in collaboration
with some armed groups who want to destabilise the system," prosecutor
Shemeles Kemal told Agence France-Presse by telephone.
The case has "nothing
to do with those who are already on trial, the defendants are different.
But it can be seen as a continuation," he said.
The prosecutor accused
the defendants of operating under the cover of an illegal organisation
called the Ethiopian People National Unity Front, according to Ethiopian
state news agency ENA, quoting charges brought by the prosecution on Monday.
The trial of more
than 100 opposition members has drawn deep concern from donors and criticism
from rights groups that maintain the government is trying to stifle dissent
in the wake of unrest following the May 2005 election that the CUD claims
was rigged. — AFP