Ethiopia releases top opposition figure from prison

Ethiopia's top opposition figure has been released from prison as part of the government's recent pledge to release detained politicians and "widen the democratic space for all."

Merara Gudina led the Oromo Federalist Congress party and was arrested a year ago under the country's state of emergency after he returned from Europe, where he had briefed European lawmakers on widespread and sometimes deadly anti-government protests.

Merara on Wednesday was met by thousands of youths in his adopted hometown of Burayu on the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa.

He was released along with 115 others from a federal prison on the outskirts of the capital.

"If the government is genuine about dialogue, then we will consider it," he told The Associated Press.