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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Government to Press Charges Against 3,000 People

allAfrica via The Daily Monitor -- Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on Tuesday that around 3,000 detainees would face charges in connection with the recent violence in Addis Ababa and other towns.

Meles who presented his five-year work plan to the Parliament indicated police have found enough evidence to corroborate the charges.

"These detainee would face charges for what they were doing during the recent violence both in Addis Ababa and other towns. Others have been released after police finalized its investigation against them. The Federal Police has already reported the issue in detail," Meles said.

He indicted that there were incidents out side Addis Ababa which regional police were able to put under control without the involvement of the Federal police.

He however said that government does not have the responsibility to take excessive power in prevailing peace and stability whenever such a problem occurs in the country.

"A neutral commission has been established by the parliament a few days back to investigate the matter. It would help us to reach a conclusion either to say that the government was using excessive power in the recent violence in Addis Abeba or not. If the government was found using excessive power, it would be guilty. We are waiting the outcome of this investigation commission," Meles added.

With regard to the Addis Abeba City Administration, Meles said that he would present his report to the House in a month time after holding discussion with the concerned bodies about the matter.

"As you will remember, the House had extended the time of office of former Addis Abeba City Administration for another three months. Now that period is over and I will present my report about the issue within a month time," he said.

Meles also spoke about the Ethio-Eritrean peace process in which he said that Ethiopia would take measures to pull back its troops from the tense border in a very short time.

"After the UN Security Council endorsed a resolution about this concern. Ethiopia has expressed its willingness to pull back its troops from the border and we are ready to do that in the coming few days," Meles said.

He indicated that the government was strengthening its military activities during the past two months following Eritrea's preparation for another war.

He however indicated that the pull back of the troops would not affect Ethiopia's defense position against any aggression.

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