A high-ranking Ethiopian government official says an agreement between the ruling party and the opposition has been signed.  As a result, two leaders of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy ? Haulu Shawel and Lidetu Ayalew -- are expected to be released from house arrest.

Bereket Simon is Ethiopia?s Minister of Information. Voice of America reporter William Eagle asked him about the signing of the accord, which had actually been announced last Friday. However, the government said the opposition had abandoned the agreement.  As a result, the government continued to prosecute those suspected of inciting anti-government protests. 

On Sunday, newly elected opposition parliamentarian Tesfaye Adane Jara was fatally wounded by police; and on Monday, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council says uniformed police picked up two or their investigators.

Mr. Bereket says the house arrests of the CUD leaders came only after it says the opposition itself broke the agreement. (The CUD denies the charge). He also says authorities are investigating the killing of the parliamentarian. However, he says that a policeman was also wounded in the incident, which merits investigation.  As for the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, Mr. Bereket says the EHRCO is an arm of the opposition, and its members will be arrested like anyone else if they are suspected of illegally aiding recent protests.