Leaders of an estimated 15,000 protesting Ethiopians met with United States State Department officials on Thursday over Ethiopian government actions designed to reverse outcome of elections held on May 15 in the African nation.
Described as the largest Ethiopian political gathering ever, the protest rally, which raised about $100,000 in aid of the struggling opposition parties, was jointly organized by supporters of Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF), two major opposition parties whose huge election gains have attracted state-sponsored arrests, intimidations and killings throughout the country.
On Wednesday, the European Union (EU) declared in a statement that it may "have to make a public denunciation of developments to distance itself from 'the lack of transparency, and assumed rigging' of the vote." The EU also said the national electoral board has lost control of vote counting.
Meanwhile, Addis Ababa University students, who have voted overwhelmingly for the opposition throughout the country, have declared a one-day hunger strike on May 28 as a show of solidarity with the Ethiopian people as opposed to the ruling regime which stands accused of massive fraud. Since coming to power on May 28, 1991, the ruling regime has faced ever-growing opposition from the people, and the recent outcome of the May 15 elections stands out as a phenomenal symbol of popular response to the ruling party's morbid move to cling to power by any means possible.