ADDIS ABABA, The Ethiopia Federal High Court in Addis Ababa on Wednesday gave prison sentences to nine individuals for conducting armed insurrection.
The defendants were accused of organizing armed insurrection about two years ago in a forest area near Arba Minch city in Ethiopia’s Southern regional state.
The nine, who were also accused of being members of an outlawed rebel group Patriotic Front-Ginbot 7, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three years and 10 months to 16 and half years.
The Ethiopian government has alleged that the abovementioned rebel group is supported by its archrival and neighboring country Eritrea, while Eritrea accuses Ethiopia of supporting Eritrean rebel groups and running an international campaign to isolate the Red Sea nation.
Since Eritrea’s independence following a referendum in 1993, the two nations have been locked in a hostile border dispute, which resulted in a bloody border war between 1998 and 2000 that killed an estimated 70,000 people from both sides.
Since then, the common border between Eritrea and Ethiopia has had an uneasy calm punctuated with periodic armed standoffs.