Friday, June 10, 2005

22 Killed Protesting 'Fraudulent' Election

The BBC reports on what appears to be yet another cold-blooded massacre.

Ethiopians seek missing relatives
Addis Ababa is a ghost town with only a heavy police presence on the streets.

The city has seen three days of street protests over the ruling party's alleged massive election fraud and hundreds of young people have been arrested.

Doctors at city hospitals are working frantically to treat the wounded, many of whom have gunshot wounds.

At the Menelik II Hospital morgue, five narrow wooden coffins were laid out, according to Reuters news agency.

Fakedu Kibret had gone to collect his 34-year-old brother's body. "I'm deeply sad, not just for my brother but everyone who has died," he said.
Eyewitness: Ethiopian protests
Yeneayhu, 29, an Ethiopian lecturer at Addis Ababa University, tells the BBC News website what he saw in the capital on Wednesday when police clashed with protesters accusing the ruling party of fraud in last month's elections.
I was running, just like the others.

But I saw the military people.

They were directly shooting at everyone.

They were aiming right at the people.

It was the worst thing about today's experience in the city.

This is really the most disastrous thing in my whole life.

And tomorrow, from what I have heard, the same thing will happen again.

It will keep happening until the government takes action over the election results.

People want some kind of immediate action.

As of yet though, I have not heard any government body reporting about the situation.

Previously: Ethiopians shot dead in protests
Final results have not been announced [...] reports of massive fraud are investigated.
"When the crowd dispersed in fear, they started shooting at them. There was blood everywhere."
Deeper background: Ethiopians flock to cast ballots
Hundreds of people lined up at polling stations with some of the queues extending to adjacent streets.

Security has been tightened, but the chairman of the national elections board says voting is going on smoothly.

More than 300 foreign observers - in the country for the first time - are investigating claims of irregularities.
The poll has been marred by opposition allegations of harassment of its agents up to the eve of voting.

One of the main opposition groups, the CUD, said hundreds of election monitors had been arrested, and it threatened not to accept the results of the vote.

The government denies the allegations, saying opponents want to discredit the poll for political reasons.

The National Election Board head, Kemal Bedri, said he was taken aback by the accusations.
Notice how none of this sounds familiar.

Still more background:

Timeline: Ethiopia

Country profile: Ethiopia

Profile: Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi