'Scores died' in Ethiopia unrest

By Amber Henshaw
BBC News, Addis Ababa
An official inquiry into post-election unrest in Ethiopia found 193 civilians and six policemen died, says a copy of the report seen by the BBC.
The government's official figure was 58 while independent media had estimated some 84 fatalities.
The probe, set up by parliament after clashes in June and November in Addis Ababa and elsewhere, said security forces did not use excessive force.
But the report, to be published next week, says some errors were committed.
It also concludes that some people's rights were infringed.
The report, written in the local Amharic language, was compiled by a committee set up by parliament.
'Huge rioting'
An earlier version leaked to the media by the inquiry's previous deputy commission head, Wolde-Michael Meshesha - who now in exile in Europe - said police carried out a "massacre", shooting, beating and strangling people.
It gave the same number of fatalities.
Critics have accused the government of leaning on commission members to tone down the initial version.
The final official report said 30,000 people were detained in connection with the unrest, while 75 police officers and 763 civilians were injured, most of the latter by bullets, during what was described as "huge rioting".
The violence tarnished the reputation of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Mr Meles, a former guerrilla leader, had been hailed as part of a "new generation" of progressive African leaders when he helped topple a former dictator and took power in 1991.
But since last year, he has been under increasing pressure over allegations of human rights abuses and autocratic rule.
The government blames the opposition for the violence.
Opposition politicians say police opened fire on peaceful protests against alleged fraud and irregularities in the May 2005 poll.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at6:36 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home