Ethiopia’s New Year gift to pris­on­ers

The East African - - OUTLOOK -

The News: The Ethiopian gov­ern­ment has an­nounced the re­lease of 8,875 pris­on­ers as part of a good­will Ethiopian New Year ges­ture.

The Low­down: The pris­on­ers were re­leased from pris­ons lo­cated in Amhara, Oro­mia, Ben­is­hangul Gu­muz and Gam­bella re­gional states and are part of the Ethiopian gov­ern­ment’s strat­egy of fos­ter­ing peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in the coun­try. The re­leased pris­on­ers are ex­pected to re-join their fam­i­lies and re-in­te­grate into the wider so­ci­ety, with the hope they be­come pro­duc­tive and law abid­ing cit­i­zens of Ethiopia. The mass pris­oner re­leases have in­cluded mem­bers of var­i­ous rebel groups, who had been jailed on of­fences rang­ing from mem­ber­ship of pre­vi­ously banned or­gan­i­sa­tions to com­mit­ting high trea­son. The Ethiopian New Year falls on Septem­ber 11 (or Septem­ber 12 dur­ing a leap year), as the coun­try uses cal­en­dar that counts its year seven to eight years be­hind the Gre­go­rian cal­en­dar.

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