May 2, 2014
US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday raised concerns with the Ethiopian government about the detention in the past week of several journalists and bloggers. A number of opposition Blue Party members were also arrested last week ahead of a planned demonstration. US and other donor influence on the question of media freedom and repression of opposition is fairly limited, despite Ethiopia’s dependence on foreign aid. Nevertheless, the recent clampdown — coming amid a wave of protests by students at universities in the Oromo regional state against the pace of the capital city Addis Ababa’s expansion — highlights tensions created or exacerbated by the aggressive growth policies of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
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