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1991 - The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) toppled the Derg military regime which had been responsible for the Red Terror, ending a decade of civil war and promising freedom and respect for human rights.

1992 - The EPRDF government began to target the Ethiopian Teachers' Association (ETA) for harassment after the association suggested reforms to the educational system. In the years to come, government tactics would include repeated discrimination against and arbitrary arrests of ETA leaders and sympathizers, assassination of a leading member in 1997, and confiscation of the organization's assets.

January 4, 1993 - Students at Addis Ababa University (AAU) took to the streets in protest of a planned referendum on Eritrean independence. Security forces fired live ammunition into the crowd of unarmed students and beat and arrested large numbers of students.

April 1993 - AAU summarily dismissed more than forty professors who had been critical of the government. Several of them have since been repeated victims of arbitrary arrest and intimidation. Ten years later, intellectuals continue to cite the "chilling effect" these firings have had on academic freedom.

1996 - Arrests of ETA leaders Shimalis Zewdie and Dr. Taye Woldesmayat.

May 1997 - Assefa Maru, acting director of the ETA, gunned down by police. No proper investigation of the killing has ensued.

1998 - 2000 - Border war with Eritrea.

February - March 2000 - Arrests of Oromo AAU students protesting government failure to extinguish forest fires. High school students also protested; one was killed and up to 300 were arrested.

October 2000 - Oromo students protested the move of the capital of Oromia state from Addis Ababa to Nazret, leading to the arrests of at least four students.

December 2000 - Police responded violently to students protesting living conditions at Awassa Teachers College. Students were beaten and arrested.

December 20, 2000 - AAU students were arrested and beaten after a fight erupted when a Tigrean student used the word "galla," a derogatory word for Oromos. A series of related incidents followed in colleges and universities across the country.

April 2001 - AAU students went on strike demanding academic freedom, including the rights to organize a student union and publish a student newspaper and removal of armed uniformed police from campus. Government forces killed some forty students and other civilians and arrested thousands, some of whom were tortured. High school, college, and university students around the country demonstrated in solidarity, and police responded to these demonstrations with excessive violence as well.

September 2001 - Government police on AAU campus were replaced by private security guards. The government did not remove other barriers to freedom of association and expression for members of the university community.

February 2002 - Government security forces disrupted an ETA conference on education for all and HIV/AIDS. More than forty teachers were arrested for attending the meeting.

March 11, 2002 - Minority groups clashed with local officials in Tepi over political rights leading to the deaths of at least eighteen civilians and one official. In the following days more than one hundred were killed, several villages reportedly were razed to the ground on the order of local authorities, and nearly one thousand civilians were arrested.

March 2002 - Oromia high school students protested against economic and educational policies. Security forces killed five students, wounded others, and arrested hundreds.

April 2002 - Students returned to AAU one year after the campus strike, agreeing to drop their demands for academic freedom.

May 24, 2002 - Government forces killed seventeen civilians protesting change in the administrative status of Awassa.

July - August 2002 - All teachers and university instructors underwent a mandatory seminar on "capacity building" at which government officials instructed them to teach their students to be good cadres and to disassociate themselves from the ETA.

December 2002 - Top administrators at AAU and at least five professors resigned after complaining that the government was using performance evaluations to interfere with university autonomy. The government had yet to promulgate a university charter granting the university autonomy despite repeated promises to do so since coming to power in 1991.

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