Berhanu Nega calls for a 'by any means' struggle
"I'm very suspicious that there was an attempt at
all," said Berhanu Nega
during an interview at his
home outside of Lewisburg in north-central
Berhanu was elected mayor of capital Addis Ababa after parliamentary elections in 2005 but was jailed when the opposition disputed the government's victory.
Police and soldiers killed about 200 opposition protestors in street violence that followed the poll.
Berhanu and other opposition leaders were released in a 2007 pardon after which he went to the United States to teach economics at Bucknell University in Philadelphia.
collected money for them in the United States, he
Berhanu's organisation 'May 15th' is named after the date of the 2005 poll.
has made statements in the United States saying it wants to violently overthrow the government.
Birtukan Mideksa, the 34-year-old leader of the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice party (UDJ), was jailed in December for allegedly violating the terms of the pardon that led to her
release along with Berhanu
The government granted permission for 250 opposition members to march through Addis last week to demand her
release in the first political protests since the violence in 2005.
Many of the marchers were former political allies of Berhanu