NEWS & LETTERS, July-August 2005

Our Life and Times by Kevin A. Barry

Ethiopian students

Students took to the streets of Addis Ababa in June to protest fraudulent elections that had returned the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to power, defying Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ban on post-election demonstrations.

Government forces opened fire, killing 26 youth.  They also arrested over 3,000 people. Construction workers sprung to the students’ defense, pelting police with rocks.  Next, taxi drivers and other urban workers went on strike to protest the murder of the youth. Some days later, under severe internal and external pressure, the regime released many of those it had jailed and agreed to investigate the elections.  It made no apologies for the student deaths, however, nor did it agree to investigate them.

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