Ethiopia’s PM bemoans country’s ‘vast number’ of criminals

Ethiopia’s reformist prime minister says the country would need to build a new town to hold all suspected of corruption and rights abuses in previous administrations.

Abiy Ahmed on Thursday told lawmakers that “the prison facilities that we have here in Ethiopia are not sufficient enough to handle the vast number of criminals … we have chosen to focus on major cases and leave the rest for a reconciliation commission that is in the making.”

Sixty-three intelligence officials, military personnel and businesspeople were arrested this month over allegations of abuses and corruption.

Also on Thursday, lawmakers approved former opposition figure Birtukan Mideksa as Ethiopia’s election chief as Abiy again promised a “free and fair” election in 2020. Birtukan is the latest woman appointed to a high-profile position in the new administration.

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