Norway’s prime minister has defended the country’s collaboration with Ethiopia on climate-related energy initiatives in the face of protests over alleged human rights abuses by the leader of the African country.

Steve Marshall  10 October 2011 15:58 GMT

Hundreds of protestors gathered outside the Oslo venue of the Energy for All conference on Monday to express their anger that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was invited to speak at the event.

Meles is accused by citizens of carrying out human rights violations including random executions, torture and imprisonment of political dissidents in the Ogaden region, as well as using aid cash given by the West to the poverty-stricken country to oppress its people.

His government has allegedly carried out brutal counter-insurgency techniques against the Ogaden National Liberation Front.

A spokesman for the demonstrators described Meles as a “fascist dictator” and that the alleged atrocities carried out by his forces have been documented by Human Rights Watch as well as the US State Department.

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