Ethiopia's Oromo Leader Bekele Gerba Quits, Seeks U.S. Asylum

Bekele Gerba, a long-time figure in Ethiopian politics at both the personal and party levels, has announced his resignation from the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and his decision to seek asylum in the United States, Addis Standard reports.

In an interview with the BBC, Bekele said the serious political situation in Ethiopia, which he believes hinders "peaceful struggle and personal freedom," is his reason for requesting asylum in America.

Gerba who was the first deputy of the OFC, said it would be impractical for him to continue in his position while residing abroad for over 15 months, thus prompting his withdrawal from the party.

Oromia region's simmering tensions erupted in deadly unrest in 2020 after the murder of famous Oromia singer Haacaaluu Hundeessa, whose music highlighted the struggles of the Oromo region and its people.

Bekele Gerba was one of the political activists arrested and detained by Ethiopian authorities for over 18 months before his release.

Bekele Gerba during an exclusive interview with Addis Standard shortly after his release from prison in 2015.

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