Ethiopian opposition leader Jawar Mohammed and 22 others appeared in court Monday to face charges of terrorism and other crimes. Jawar, a media mogul and outspoken critic of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, was arrested in June following the killing of popular singer Hachalu Hundessa, a champion of the Oromo ethnic group. Political analysts say the charges are likely to raise tensions in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest and most populous region.
In November last year, Jawar — who runs a television channel, the Oromia Media Network — met with Prime Minister Abiy in hopes of convincing him to revise his nationalist agenda and favor more political autonomy for Ethiopia’s diverse collection of regions, including Oromia.
But the two men’s relationship fell apart and Jawar joined the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). He began campaigning against the government inside packed sports stadiums.