Ethiopia

Violent Suppression of Student Protest

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For ten days in May of this year, Ethiopia saw its first significant open civilian opposition for fifteen years, in a series of protests led by students. A wave of strikes was sparked by the government execution of 12 army generals on May 19. Earlier in March, the government had promised political tolerance and pluralism. In May it betrayed those promises, and suppressed the student demonstrations with deadly force. Colonel Mengistu's "democracy" has proven to be hollow - as many had expected. Little news has reached the outside world about the brief protest movement and its suppression. Africa Watch has obtained detailed information about the events of those ten days, including fresh evidence suggesting that several students may have been killed when the security forces opened fire on the evening of May 22, 1990.

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