University reopens; few students show up to register

University reopens; few students show up to register

04/24/2001 Associated Press


  ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) - Addis Ababa University reopened Tuesday after more than 30 people were killed in riots last week sparked by a protest over academic freedom, but few students showed up to register.


 A university official, who asked not to be further identified, said "very few" arrived to register, and it was unlikely more would do so until the hundreds of students rounded up by police in the wake of the two days of rioting and interned in a police training center north of the city were released.


On Monday, police said 31 people had died, but last week officials at city hospitals put the death toll at 41. The government also announced the re-opening of the university after closing it indefinitely on April 19.


 Violent street clashes between stone-throwing youths and police firing live ammunition erupted in several parts of the capital on April 17 and 18 following a government ultimatum to students to drop a weeklong protest for more academic freedom or face expulsion.


Many of the rioters were unemployed youths, and there was widespread damage and looting in the Piazza and Merkato commercial sections of the city.


The violence was the worst in the capital since the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front of now-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi ousted a 17-year military regime in May 1991.