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Analyst Blames Ethiopian Government for Protest Deaths

Sunday is reportedly calm in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Ethiopian capital was the site of protests last week in which hundreds of students and opposition members were detained. Scores of protesters were reported killed.

The government says the protestors were throwing stones and some were looting. It accused the opposition Coalition for Democracy and Unity of instigating the protests, and said the demonstrations broke a government-imposed ban on demonstrations until the vote counting from last months’ polls had been completed. The Ethiopian Electoral Board says the ruling party is ahead; the opposition says it has won, and that the ruling party is committing fraud.

Professor Mammo Muchie is the chairman of the Network of Ethiopian Scholars /Scandavian Chapter. He’s also the director of the Research Center for Development and International Relations in Aalborg in eastern Denmark.

Professor Mammo holds the government responsible for last week’s violence and for a retreat from democratization. He says reports show the government brought in poorly trained troops from the north of the country to suppress protestors last week – as, he says, the government panicked over demonstrations and its poor showing at the polls.