ETHIOPIA STORY, 4th December 2005

Duration: total 8.45 mins

IN words: "It’s the event of the year in Addis Ababa.

OUT Words:(8.49 mins) NB Out words are subtitles: "When will we see the new dawn....?"


ASTONS......For Ethiopia story
1. 00.00.52 June 2005
2. 00.01.40 Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia
3. 00.02.23 Hailu Shawel, Leader of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy
4. 00.04.09
Detainee at Dedesa Camp optional)
Meles Zenawi
Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Tim Clark, Head of EU delegation in Ethiopia (tight)
6. 00.06.32
Detainee at Dedesa camp
7. 00.07.40
Tim Clark
Tim Clark, Head of EU delegation in Ethiopia



Inigo Gilmore, Indy Fund Story, December 4th 2005

It’s the event of the year in Addis Ababa. 30,000 Ethiopians have descended on the capital for Africa’s biggest road race. It’s a big PR day for the country.

In a matter of hours, the winner of this race, will be known. But six months on from a far more important race – the general elections – the winner is still in dispute.

In spite of the political uncertainty, there’s an impressive turnout from the international community for the race. Here’s the British ambassador, on the right in a Panama hat, vigorously limbering up with help from his French counterpart

ACTUALITY(LOUDSPEAKER). “And we have begun the 2005 Great Ethiopia run……”
(see the race starting…… ARCHIVE..PIX OF POLICE)

This was the scene in Addis Ababa six months ago as Channel 4 news exclusively revealed. University students protesting the results of Ethiopia’s first free elections. They claim the government rigged the results against the opposition parties.

The security forces responded with firepower and a wave of political arrests.

At least 30 civilians were reportedly shot dead in June. These pictures provide evidence of large round ups. The demonstrators are saying ‘save us, save us!’ as they are led away to waiting trucks. There have been more deaths and mass detentions since.

The Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, told me his response was legitimate

SOT PM: “I’m saying there was no peaceful demonstration as such. It was an uprising and we put down an uprising. Regrettably it involved loss of life, but it was not a peaceful demonstration at all.”


As the runners make their way through the city, elsewhere in the capital, opposition leaders are led from their prison cells, watched by Ethiopian security officers.

The leader of the CUD party Hailu Shawel, was arrested on November 1st. this is the first time he’s spoken publicly since his detention. He’s critical of the international response to the crisis.

SOT HAILU: “Of course they pay lip service to democracy. But after all these people have died their response has no place at the moment. It is not proportionate to what is happening to our people. People are dying.”

An Ethiopian court has been ordered to bring charges within 12 days. They are like to face charges of treason.
The prime minister says the detention of his political opponents is justified.

Meles SOT….. “There is tonnes of evidence. They plotted insurrection will be presented to open and independent court in a week

What is the evidence

We have , video, video, written evidence and we have witnesses. Over 70 witnesses.”

SOT….(Inigo Question to Hailu….
‘ I interviewed the Prime minister, he says he has evidence showing the opposition was calling for insurrection.”

SOT Hailu: “If they have evidence let them produce it because there is none. Making a statement is not a crime, even ”
“If he has evidence let him produce it., because there is none, there is none.”

As the opposition leader was being led back to cell he spoke of his concern about the recent mass arrests.

SOT…Hailu…..“It shock me when they say, 40 to 50,000 of the youth in addis have been herded away. This is unheard of. What’s the purpose of this?”

Hailu Shwel (Shawl) is referring to Dedesa camp. Outside the capital along this road to the West – and so far off limits to media – Dedesa is a former military base. Reports from former detainees tell of thousands being rounded up and dumped there.

I found one man, whose just been released from the camp after 19 days. The interview took place at night, in the back of car, to avoid being spotted by the security services.
SOT Dereje mola…..

“Some prisoners were blinded. Some had their legs broken and others their teeth smashed. Because of all these beatings some could not walk. There were some who were shot in their legs and were left lying on the ground.”

In the concentration camp there were many wild animals. Some died after being bitten by poisionous snakes. The severed head of victims lying on the ground

Every day, men weakened by hunger and malaria, were beaten mercilessly by the police guards, he says.

I saw 30 people dying They’d been beaten..And people are still dying…..”

The police guards talked about the numbers of detainees.
SYNC ‘There are 43,000 prisoner in the camp.’

Inigo: How do you know?
“that’s what I heard the guards saying anyway”

SEGUE interview with Meles Zenawi………

Inigo asks him: SOT
There has been reports of widespread beating, human rights abuses, taking place, Noone has been allowed access to this camp.

SOT….as we speak there are religious leaders, journalists and

NGOS visiting those detention camps, but not foreigners, not foreign embassies.

Would foreign journalists be allowed to go to Dedesa camp?

SOT I believe so…

Is that a guarantee we could have?

Despite assurances from the Prime minister saying on tape that I could visit Dedesa, the promised trip never materialized.

TIM CLARK< EU Ambassador, to ETHIOPIA SOT…(20.31)
“It’s extremely worrying. We have not witnessed anything like this in Ethiopia before. What worries is this news blackout . that we don’t’ know what is going on

The reports have alarmed the donor community in Addis Ababa, particularly the EU UNION which provides 1 billions euros worth in current aid projects..(double check)

“We’ve been hearing from dedesa that there have been terrible atrocities taking place. I have personally had accounts of mass burials of people who died because of malaria, because of insanitary conditions and so on.”

“if this as we hear then there are real, reall major human rights abuses which havw to be resolved.”
Are you aware of these human rights abuses taking place in the camp?

SOT…Zenawi: I have heard of these allegations, I will not take them at face value until they are investigated.
So widespread are the arrests, even government supporters have been detained. This man was held in Dedesa for 11 days, he was only released after help from a family member with connections to the government.

SOT…. “When any person asked to urinate they immediate bring a big stick and hit him. they did not worry might if he might be injured or die…..Everyone was bleeding.”

SOT…”I used to think Meles was a democrat, But he’s not. They kick even their own supporters They will do anything to stay in power, to rule Ethiopia.”

And that includes newspapers that don’t support the government being closed down, text messaging being blocked. Even pop music has been targeted. This song, by Teddy Afro, the Robbie Williams of Ethiopia, has been banned from government airwaves. His lyrics accuses the government of failing to bring any changes to Ethiopia.
: “When they came to power people expected change. But we got a new dictator to replace the old one.”

Tim Clark, EU….SOT………….There comes a point where our patience as an international community is running out…..

The international community has now warned that they are considering suspending aid if their concerns are not addressed. But this does not seem to disturb the prime minister.

Inigo: So Are you prepared if it came to it to lose that aid and stick to what you believe is the right path?

MELES: I believe the right parth is for democratisation and continuing our economic reform programme I believe we are on that path and believe we deserve assistance from our friends, but if our friends feel otherwise I respect their decision. After all its their money.”
Twenty years ago it was a British pop song that raised million in donor aid money and alerted the world to ethiopia’s starving…now an Ethiopian pop-star is sending out a distress signal for his country’s fragile democracy. But is anyone listening?
(subtitles…..Oh Ethiopia! Abyssinian!

“When will we see the new dawn?”

END(at 8.49)
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