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Ethiopia

Yearbook 2006

Ethiopia. The trial of well over 100 opposition politicians, journalists and human rights activists continued in 2006. They were prosecuted in 2005 for treason and genocide in connection with unrest following parliamentary elections, in which they claimed the regime had cheated.

2006 Ethiopia

According to CountryAAH, most of the country's financial assistance to the government remained frozen. However, in May, the World Bank and the United Kingdom committed a total of approximately SEK 3.2 billion to humanitarian aid, provided that the government would not receive the money.

A series of blast attacks in public places, especially the capital Addis Ababa, demanded several deaths. Who was behind the explosions did not appear, but the police suggested a connection to the ongoing mass trial by claiming that a larger seizure of explosives could be traced to the opposition Alliance Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), whose leaders were among the defendants. The CUD announced in May that it has entered into cooperation with four armed opposition movements but intends to continue waging a peaceful fight against the regime.

Two EU diplomats, one of whom is a Swedish, were expelled in October after, according to the government, being caught trying to smuggle two oppositionists out of the country. On the same day, the head of EU election observers in 2005 had revealed that an official investigation showed that Ethiopian police killed 193 people during the unrest; far more than the government admitted.

After a twelve-year trial, former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam was found and eleven co-accused in December guilty of genocide during the left regime 1974–91. The penalty was expected to be set in early 2007. However, Mengistu lives in security in Zimbabwe, whose government emphasized that he should not be extradited.

During the fall, Ethiopia sent large troops into Somalia, where Islamist militia took control of ever-larger territory. The Islamist militia proclaimed jihad (holy war) against Ethiopia, whose forces at the end of December went on the offensive in support of the fragile Somali transition government. In a brief but intense flight and armor war, the Islamist militia was driven away from all cities and an Ethiopian-supported government could be installed in the capital Mogadishu.

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