The Ethiopian government says it is hopeful that a declaration it signed with the political opposition to renew a peace agreement will end post-election violence in the country. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch issued a warning that the government's crackdown on unrest has spread across the country.
The government and two opposition coalitions signed their original agreement last Friday, but failed to implement it because of disagreements. The parties held negotiations for several days, and signed a declaration Tuesday to proceed with the earlier arrangement.
The agreement spells out how to address irregularities and other complaints arising from the May 15 elections, and commits all sides to ending recent post-election violence.
Provisional results indicate a victory for the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which opposition supporters and others accuse of massive vote rigging and other fraud.
More than 30 people were killed, scores injured, and thousands arrested last week during demonstrations and other unrest.
Government spokesman Zemedkun Tekle says he is confident that the agreement will end the unrest.
"The agreement is very important and crucial to bring the present situation into more calm and a peaceful situation," he said. "The signatories of this agreement are expected to be part of making the peaceful solutions and to abide by the final results the National Election [Electoral] Board is going to give."
Mr. Zemedkun says lawmakers, lawyers, members of opposition parties, those who have filed election-related complaints, and international monitors will be part of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia's investigations. The board will be looking at irregularities in 299 constituencies.
Mr. Zemedkun says those who are not satisfied with the board's final election results can appeal to the courts, which will rule on the matter.
Final election results are scheduled to be announced July 8.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch issued a statement warning that opposition members and students across Ethiopia are increasingly at risk of arbitrary arrest and torture by the government.
The group also slams security personnel for using, what it calls, excessive force to break up demonstrations.