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Who Provoked the Violence, Why, and What Should be Done?

This is one of the most succinct articles written about the situation in Ethiopia since the protests began last week. Please read the article here. Here is a quote:

Who provoked the violence in Ethiopia? EPRDF accuses CUD leaders for the violence. That should mean that CUD leaders have called for violence. But it is not true. Since EPRDF has all the means to accuse, arrest and kill people it will not be surprising if it accuses CUD leaders for provoking the violence. What surprises me is that western diplomats too are somehow echoing the accusations of EPRDF. I said this because in many of the statements we find phrases that blame the government and the opposition equally for the violence.

CUD had earlier called for a peaceful demonstration that included a call for motorists to honk their horns between 8:00 and 8:30AM in the morning on Oct. 31st to Nov. 2, 2005. The motorists did honk their hirns but the army stopped and arrested most of them. It also took away licenses of 30 taxi drivers. The government announced this in the evening and the next day when the motorists were again demonstrating peacefully the special Agazi army started attacking them by bringing them out of their cars and beating them cruelly. The people who were watching the scene could not stand the way the motorists were treated and started throwing stones at the soldiers. The soldiers responded with live ammunition. The violence started immediately.

We can compare the situation on Monday with that of Tuesday. On Monday there was no violence because the army was not beating the motorists. They were taking away their licenses but the public tolerated that one. However, on Tuesday the government ordered the army to beat the motorists and hence it provoked the violence.

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