World Bulletin / News Desk
Jawar Mohammed, an online activist and fierce critic of Ethiopia's one-party government through his outlet Oromia Media Network, returned to the country on Sunday after 13 years in exile.
"It's good to be here! It's good to be not a terrorist anymore!" Jawar told a press conference in the capital Addis Ababa.
Through his media outlet OMN, Jawar has promoted strikes and anti-government protests, particularly among the country's largest ethnic group the Oromo.
Protests that began in late 2015 among the Oromo and then spread to the second-largest group the Amhara left hundreds dead and prompted the government to twice declare a nationwide state of emergency to halt the unrest.
It also played a role in the resignation last February of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who struggled to appease the protesters.
Hailemariam's government banned the OMN and last year levied charges of inciting violence against Jawar, who lived in the United States.
Those charges were dropped after Abiy took office.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Jawar said he planned to stay in Ethiopia for good and would focus on expanding OMN's operations and re-orienting its editorial policies.
"OMN was an activist media until now. We took clear sides with the Oromo protests," Jawar said. "From now on, we're going to move to the centre."
Since taking office, Abiy, himself an Oromo, has encouraged anti-government activists like Jawar to return to Ethiopia.
He has also freed jailed dissidents and removed several armed groups from Ethiopia's list of terrorist organisations, while signing a peace deal with neighbouring Eritrea that ended two decades of hostilities.
Through his work with OMN, Jawar has become a controversial household name in Ethiopia, but he swore off seeking elected office.
"I think I have done my share for this country," he said. "I want to have an advisory role from now on."
The United States last week voiced suspicion over Russia’s pursuit of new space weapons, including a mobile laser system to destroy satellites in space, and the launch of a new inspector satellite which was acting in an “abnormal” way.
Crash was not caused by hostile fire, coalition asserts
Bloc will now be tasked with drawing up country’s next government
Anti-Arab slogans were sprayed on walls of several Palestinian houses in Jerusalem
The U.S.-led coalition was formed in 2014 to fight Daesh in Iraq
Iraq's parliamentary vote results was the subject of bitter dispute amid widespread allegations of fraud
Iraq fought an 8-year war against Iran under the former regime of Saddam Hussein
Abbas says he rejects US mediation for Palestine-Israel peace talks
The military said it detected the lab in the town of Alcoyonqui, near the state capital Culiacan, and raided it on Thursday.
Israel closed Al Aqsa compound after a stabbing attempt near a mosque gate
Terrorists were ‘neutralized’ in Turkey's southeastern Hakkari province and northern Iraq’s Hakurk, Zap and Gara areas
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says training for combined patrols will start 'within 72 hours' in Turkey
Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council warns political ties with US will not be normalized
Call comes after Israeli police closed all of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates following an attempted knife attack
President says local politicians 'know a windfall when they see it;' asked for 'ridiculously high' sum
Credibility of US government with a president as 'erratic' as Trump is greatly diminished, says expert