In an interview with FRANCE 24, Zadig Abraha, the Ethiopian minister in charge of democratization, accused “external forces” of playing a role in recent violence in the country in which more than 200 people were killed. He also accused forces opposed to changes ushered in by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of being behind the unrest, without specifying who they were.

Zadig claimed the situation in the country had returned to normal after the unrest sparked by the killing of a famous singer and activist for the Oromos, Ethiopia‘s largest ethnic group. He said the investigation was ongoing to find the culprits behind the murder and the ensuing violence, which has claimed at least 239 lives.

The Ethiopian minister accused forces opposed to changes ushered in by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of being behind the unrest, without specifying who they were. He said well-known Oromo activists such as Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba were linked to the violence and thus arrested. But he refuted the notion that the government was using the incidents as a way to crack down on the opposition and stifle dissent.

He also accused “external forces” of involvement in the violence but didn’t endorse claims by some Ethiopian officials that Egypt was fomenting trouble. Egypt and Ethiopia have been at loggerheads over a major dam project.

Finally, Zadig said it was up to the electoral commission to decide on a date for general elections that were scheduled for August and were postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, brushing aside the idea that the government was using the coronavirus crisis to avoid being challenged at the ballot box.

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