Meles Zenawi met by protests in Norway

A chorus of critics demonstrated outside the Oslo hotel where Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was attending an international energy conference this week. He brushed off the criticism, while Norwegian leaders say they took up some of it with him.

Norway has donated around NOK 1.4 billion in aid to Ethiopia over the past six years, and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has worked closely with Meles Zenawi on a UN-backed effort to raise funds for measures to halt climate change. That’s at least partly why Meles Zenawi was in Oslo this week, to take part in the latest conference involving energy and climate issues.

While he was welcomed by his Norwegian hosts, Aftenposten reported how demonstrators outside the Radisson Blu Hotel in downtown Oslo were chanting “shame, shame, shame.” Most of the demonstrators were Ethiopian-Norwegians who are not at all happy with Meles Zenawi’s rule back home.

demonstrators chanting “shame, shame, shame.” Most of the demonstrators are Ethiopian-Norwegians who are not at all happy with Meles Zenawi’s rule back home.
Demonstrators chanting “shame, shame, shame.” Most of the demonstrators are Ethiopian-Norwegians who are not at all happy with Meles Zenawi’s rule back home.

“This is a man who imprisons journalists and opposition groups,” Adam Mulualem Zerikun, one of the organizers of the demonstration, told Aftenposten. He accused Meles Zenawi of gathering all political power in an ethnic group that makes up only a small percentage of the population, of prohibiting aid organizations and impartial observerser into southern portions of the country and of turning Ethiopia into a dictatorship.

Meles Zenawi was unmoved. “If they don’t agree with the government’s politics, it’s natural they protest,” he told Aftenposten. He also stressed that Ethiopia has never been a colony and that’s why aid organizations aren’t allowed to get involved in political activities, including promotion of human rights.

After 20 years of rule, he has won international acclaim for boosting Ethiopia’s economy, but he’s also attracted criticism for a lack of progress on human rights and democracy. Most recently his government reportedly has used an anti-terror law to imprison

hundreds of journalists and political opponents, including two Swedish journalists. Meles Zenawi insisted they were messengers for a terrorist organization.

Meles Zenawi (right) getting a briefing from a conference leader in Oslo along with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (center) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Protesters unhappy with the situation in Ethiopia demonstrated outside
Meles Zenawi (right) getting a briefing from a conference leader in Oslo along with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (center) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Protesters unhappy with the situation in Ethiopia demonstrated outside. PHOTO: Statsministerenskontor

Stoltenberg said he took up the issue of the imprisoned Swedes with Meles Zenawi on Monday, along with reports of murder and abuse of civilians in Ogaden. Yet he and government minister Erik Solheim also hailed the Ethiopian leader for promoting stability and growth in Africa.

“We’re working with Ethiopia to fight poverty,” Stoltenberg said. “Trade and investment are closely tied to improvement of human rights.”

“Norwegian and other countries’ organizations think they have a right to involve themselves in African countries’ politics,” Meles Zenawi told newspaper Aftenposten. “At the same time, I, as an Ethiopian, have no right to involve myself in Norwegian affairs. We have never accepted this double standard.”

He said that Norway can gladly “help us” in economic issues, “and say what you think.” But he warned outsiders from meddling in Ethiopia’s political processes.

Source: newsinenglish.no

2 thoughts on “Meles Zenawi met by protests in Norway

  1. meles zenawi really dictator selfish person kill many peopel of ethiopian people play game with his wife azeb have time for the ethiopian people,he suported by the american government for short time not long time have GOD for ethiopians.no democracy in ethiopia its game always democracy democracy…………..ethhiopian people die by selfish meles have time and time is coming GOD KNOWS FOR THE PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA NOT LIVE THE DECTATOR MELES .he lives by support of west country like america time for GOD

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