Thursday, September 17, 2009



By Argaw Ashine,

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has strongly condemned last week's ICG's report on the country.

The International Crisis Group had expressed concern there would be risk of conflict in Ethiopia as a result of rising ethnic tensions, ahead of the elections scheduled for May next year.

Meles told reporters in Addis Ababa that the report was the work of some rich individuals who were attempting to do their wish by financing and organising colour revolutions, against the sovereignty of developing countries.

"Some people have too many billions of dollars to spend and they feel that dictating how developing countries manage their affairs is their God-given right" Meles said.

Meles also warned such kind of meddling may harm the relationship between developed and developing nations.

Meles doubted the credibility of ICG's report, raising his suspicion on the ill motive of the group's financing body.

ICG on its report acknowledges its trustees and many charity groups based in US and Europe including Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim and US tycoon Gorge Soros.

Ethiopia had a very contested and fair election in 2005 but ended up with post election violence bloodshed which killed more than 200 people.

Ahead of the election, opposition politicians accused the incumbent party led by PM Meles Zenawi for harassment and violation of rights.

Last week, the ruling party and opposition groups gathered to discuss the next election's code of conduct, but the main opposition walked out from the discussion after a disagreement.

Meles reacted to this move on Wednesday’s press briefing, saying the intention of the individuals in the opposition was to discredit the election from day one. “They are not intending to participate in a proper manner,” he said.
Former Ethiopian Defence minister Seye Abreha and former president Negaso Gidada are among the opposition icons to challenge the 18-year-old regime of EPRDF in the 2010 election.