Minister, AAU Students Meeting Ends Inconclusively
Students' say will not end Boycotts with Police in Campus
Addis Ababa, April 16 (WIC)- The meeting between W/o Genet Zewdie, Minister of Education and Students of the Addis Ababa University aimed at resolving students grievances, ended inconclusively today as the students decided to continue with their class boycotts until the police withdrew from the University Campus.
Today's meeting was a follow-up to the Ministerís session with the student representatives last Friday, during which she had consented to meet the student body at the X-Mass Hall and to respond to their questions including issues related to police action against the students last Monday.
In today's meeting with the Minister, the students, among others demanded the unconditional and immediate evacuation of the police from the campus and that police be held accountable for their excessive use of force against the students.
The Minister said she shared in principle the studentsí demand for an immediate withdrawal of police from campus and their replacement by campus security guards, something she said however will take considerable time to realize.
W/o Genet told the Students that, the police would need to stay in the campus to protect public property until such time that the required number of trained campus security guard was put in place. She, in this regard appealed for calm and patience on the part of the students.
The students however demanded for an immediate withdrawal or a cut-date be established for he withdrawal of the police from the campus, a demand the Minister said she did not have the authority to entertain.
Having been locked on the issue of police withdrawal, the meeting between the Minister and the over 3000 students representing the various faculties of the University, was disrupted without addressing other issues expected to be raised by the students.
Meanwhile, the Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia (CAFPDE) has called on the government to bring to court of justice those responsible for the recent acts by Security Police against AAU students, which led to the injury of some 50 students.
The party said that the demands raised by the students were legitimate, and should be addressed in a proper manner.† The CAFPDE also condemned the actions of the security, and demanded for justice.
The CAFPDE further deplored the failure on the part of the AAU administration to settle the demands raised by the students through dialogue, and its failure to facilitate communication between higher officials and the student body.