Meles Zenawi’s regime expelled two EU Diplomats

October 20th, 2006 Print Print Email Email

October 20, (AP): The European Union said Friday two of its diplomats in Ethiopia were expelled and said the lack of an explanation was “totally unacceptable.”

Ethiopian state television reported Thursday that police arrested two foreigners working with the European Union because they were trying to help two Ethiopians wanted for serious crimes cross the southern border with Kenya.

“We have no information why the two members of the EU delegation in Addis have been expelled.” said EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel. “This expulsion without explanation is totally unacceptable.”

He said he had already called on the Ethiopian ambassador to explain the action. Michel also said he would continue to try to contact others in the Ethiopian government.

The European Union is one of Ethiopia’s largest donors, but its officials have been sharply critical of political developments in Ethiopia amid questions about top Ethiopian officials’ commitment to democracy.

An immigration department statement read on Ethiopian TV did not identify the foreigners nor the Ethiopians. Police stopped a European Commission vehicle with diplomatic license plates containing four people in the southern border town of Moyale and made the arrests when the foreigners refused to wind down their windows, the statement said.

Amnesty International meanwhile said Yalemzewd Bekele, an Ethiopian lawyer working for the European Commission in Addis Ababa, was one of those arrested on Thursday.

“Amnesty International is concerned that she is at high risk of torture or other ill-treatment,” it said in a statement. It said Bekele was apparently arrested in relation with the distribution of an opposition schedule for nonviolent civil disobedienc

Comments are closed.