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EU asks Ethiopia to explain expulsions
Cat : Democracy & H-Rights
Date : 2006-10-21 12:47:50                      Reader : 289
with foreigners, if not agents, etc. Why majority never think that one day it might be minority ? What then it will think of itself ? Democracy gives full equal rights by law for both majority and minority . Both must be respected and live together in peace according to constitution and laws.Both work for interest of their country.


Associated France Press (AP) 21/10/2006

EU asks Ethiopia to explain expulsions


BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Union demanded Friday that Ethiopia explain why it expelled two EU diplomats from the politically tense Horn of Africa country.

Human rights groups said the foreigners employed by the EU were arrested on Thursday. State television reported Thursday that they had been sent out of the country after authorities found them helping two Ethiopians wanted for serious crimes cross the border into Kenya.

EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel said he had asked the Ethiopian ambassador for an explanation of the expulsions. Michel also said he would continue to try to contact others in the Ethiopian government.

"This expulsion without explanation is totally unacceptable," Michel said.

EU development spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio refused to elaborate on the Ethiopian charges "out of principle" since the EU was still awaiting an official explanation for the expulsion.

But he added: "It is true that we are concerned about the situation of political members of the opposition that have suffered from persecution."

The EU head office confirmed the two EU diplomats were Bjorn Jonsson and Enrico Sborgi, who worked in the food and finances departments. The EU did not release their nationalities. Tardio said the two had probably already returned to Europe.

The EU is one of Ethiopia's largest donors, but it has been sharply critical of political developments in the country amid questions about top officials' commitment to democracy.

Unrest broke out in Ethiopia following May 2005 parliamentary elections that gave Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front control of nearly two-thirds of parliament. Opposition parties said the election was marred by fraud, intimidation and violence.

More than 100 independent journalists, opposition leaders and aid workers were charged with treason and attempted genocide after the protests. Their trials, condemned by international human rights groups, continue.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than half of its 77 million people living on less than $1 a day.

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