Thursday, June 09, 2005

Canada "Alarmed" at Violence in Ethiopia

Canada is "alarmed by the security forces' violent reaction to demonstrations" that led to the deaths of at least 26 people amid protests at the results of disputed May elections, Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew said.

"We call on all parties in Ethiopia to exercise restraint and allow the post-election process to continue in a peaceful and orderly manner," said Pettigrew in a statement.

"Canada urges all political parties to wait for the official results before claiming victory and to take any concerns over disputed figures or alleged irregularities to the appropriate authorities for resolution," Pettigrew said.

Ethiopian police announced the death toll rose to 26 after four injured people succumbed to their wounds overnight following the clashes between security forces and demonstrators. They said 11 bodies remained unclaimed at city hospitals and morgues.

A relative of one of the victims of the unrest in Ethiopia grieves outside the morgue of the Menelik hospital in Addis Ababa (AFP/Marco Longari)

The government has warned of severe consequences for anyone attempting to protest alleged massive ruling party fraud in the May 15 polls in defiance of a government ban on demonstrations.

And while it said it regrets the deaths, it has accused the opposition of fomenting illegal protests and violence and maintains the police acted to stop hooligans from robbing a bank and attempting a jail break.

Yahoo! News

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