Ethiopia: Police issue statement on university students riots

Ethiopia: Police issue statement on university students riots

BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Apr 12, 2001


Text of report by Ethiopian radio on 12 April


The crime prevention department of the federal police has said that students should present their complaints and queries in a legal and proper manner. Biruk Negash has the details:


[Biruk] In a statement issued today following the clash between the police and the Addis Ababa University students [yesterday], the department said that any illegal activity will not be acceptable.


According to the statement, the major cause for the misunderstanding between the students and the university administration was the laxity on the administration's side not to resolve the students' demands in a timely manner. The other cause was that administrative issues in the campus were not being handled in an orderly manner.


The department said the students had mixed up issues that could be answered by the university administration with others, and gave an ultimatum that if their requests were not addressed immediately they would take other steps.


Meanwhile, the police, with the view to seeking a peaceful resolution to the problem, have started following the situation from outside the university campus. Because the issue may not be resolved properly the concerned officers who were coordinating the operation thought the situation might get out of hand and so decided to send two policemen into the university campus. The crime prevention department of the federal police after realizing that sending police officers into the university campus was wrong, tried to rectify the situation.


At this juncture the students started taking illegal action and hence the police were forced to take action with the view to solving the problem and in self defence. As a result a few students received minor injuries, while a few other students who were behaving in a disorderly manner were arrested for a short while but were later released. According to the department there have been no fatalities among the students whatsoever.


Source: Radio Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, in Amharic 1700 gmt 12 Apr 01


/BBC Monitoring/ BBC.


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