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Ethiopien - Usikker stilhed i Addis Ababa efter sidste uges demonstrationer

ETHIOPIA: Uneasy calm in capital as residents return to work

IRINnews.org, 9. november 2005

Der er en ildevarslende stilhed i Ethiopiens hovedstad Addis Ababa efter oppositionens omfattende demonstrationer i sidste uge mod Premierminister Meles Zenawis totalt enerådige reguleringer af parlamentets arbejdsformer, der har sat oppositionen totalt uden for indflydelse. Ledere fra oppositionskoalitionen CUD er arresteret og anklages for at have opfordret til uroligheder, mens andre politikere også anklager regeringen for deres rolle i konflikten.

- ©  IRIN
ADDIS ABABA, 9 Nov 2005 (IRIN) - An uneasy calm returned to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Wednesday as firms and taxi drivers resumed work defying a fresh call by the opposition to continue the strike that paralysed the city last week.

Information Minister Berhan Hailu urged people to return to work saying calm had been restored in the city.

"Now that peace and stability has been restored to the city there is no reason for people, especially the taxi drivers, not to start work," he said.

"The government has announced that it will take measures if people are unwilling to go back to work. [It] is responsible to the public to ensure that services are provided, especially transport."

Some shop owners said they were told by police to open up. Taxi drivers were also ordered to return to work by the city authorities although less than half were back on the streets.

The country was under renewed pressure from the international community to defuse the political crisis, sources said.

The ruling party led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi needed to open dialogue with the opposition and release detainees, thousands of whom were rounded up after a week of troubles, a senior western diplomat told IRIN.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also wrote to Meles urging him to end harassment of local journalists and editors.

"The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply troubled by your government's harassment and censorship of journalists," CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said in an open letter.

On Tuesday, one opposition party had condemned both the government for its intransigence and the main opposition group, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) for calling for unrest.

CUD leaders were rounded up and appeared in a special court on Monday, on charges relating to the violence.

"We condemn both actions because they are pushing the country to the edge of chaos," the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement, which won 11 seats during the 15 May elections, said in a statement.

"The disputes over the election results have been so intense, that life and property have been destroyed through violent demonstrations in Addis Ababa," the statement said. "Sadly this destructive behavior is worsening instead of improving."

The Addis Ababa administration said in a statement that taxi owners who were not ready to resume service must return their licenses, number plates and ownership documents to the authorities.

On Monday, the federal police had announced on state television that 32 people including newspaper editors, members of civil society and CUD officials were wanted for helping orchestrate post election violence.

Among them was Kifle Mulat, head of Ethiopian Free Press Journalist Association and Netsanet Demissie, leader of the Organisation for Social Justice, which launched legal action in April against the National Election Board demanding that local observers be allowed to monitor the polls.

Pictures of the men and women were shown during the broadcast and police urged the public to help turn them in.

© IRIN - This article appeared originally on IRIN News.org and is published by engelund.dk according a general agreement. To view the original article, please click here.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is a project of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]



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Opdateret d. 26.12.2005