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Britain Stops Direct Aid to Ethiopia


A British official says his country will cut all aid to Ethiopia's government and plans to redirect about $88 million to humanitarian agencies in the Horn of Africa nation.

Britain's international development secretary, Hillary Benn, said his government is troubled by events in Ethiopia. He said Britain is concerned about governance, human rights and the detention of - and serious charges faced by - the opposition, reporters and civilians.

Political and civil unrest has shaken Ethiopia since last May's disputed general elections. Hundreds of opposition supporters and journalists have been arrested on charges of treason.

Benn urged talks between the government and the opposition, and he called for an independent investigation into alleged human rights violations in the south-central Oromiya region.

U.S. officials have not announced any change in American aid to Ethiopia, which totals about $600 million per year.

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