Bekele Gerba, an Ethiopian political figure and opponent of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has applied for political asylum in the United States.

Released in January 2022 after 18 months in prison, he resigned from his position as vice-president of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), the main opposition party representing the Oromo ethnic group.

The Oromo are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, which is divided into regional states based on ethnicity and language.

Bekele cited the deteriorating political situation in Ethiopia and his fear for his life as reasons for seeking asylum.

He expressed concern about the political context not being conducive to the peaceful struggle of the OFC, mentioning intimidation, mass murders, and arrests.

Having spent over seven years in prison since 2011, Bekele had been imprisoned by both the Tigrayan minority coalition and the government of Prime Minister Abiy.

He denied any deal with the government for his release and expressed pessimism about Ethiopia's future, describing the country as disintegrating.

Another Oromo opposition figure, Jawar Mohamed, was also released and is a former ally of the Ethiopian government.

Bekele denies being released in exchange for leaving Ethiopia and expresses pessimism about the country's future, fearing further deterioration.

For more such interesting stuff click here