After the death of Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi, S&D Group spokeswoman for foreign affairs Ana Gomes today made the following statement:

“Meles Zenawi was a dictator. His rhetoric on development, democracy and combatting terrorism only convinced those in the EU and the USA who wanted to be fooled. His words were clearly at odds with the cruel repression of his people and his actions in banning human rights and development organisations and jailing opposition members and journalists – Ethiopian and foreign.

“Two Swedish journalists are today still languishing in Meles Zenawi’s prisons, together with hundreds of brave Ethiopians who dared to work for freedom and democracy for their people, including Pen Prize winner Eskinder Nega.

“The EU must immediately demand the Ethiopian caretaker authorities ensure their prompt release. It must call for an immediate and inclusive dialogue involving all opposition parties – including the armed groups – to ensure a peaceful transition until democratic elections can be organised to determine the future of governance in Ethiopia.”

Solange Hélin Villes

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