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Carter Center Postelection Statement on the Ethiopia Elections, June 9, 2005


CONTACT: Kay Torrance
Assistant Director of Public Information
The Carter Center, 404-420-5129

Atlanta…..The Carter Center joins other members of the international community and Ethiopian citizens in expressing its deep alarm and sorrow at the violence, injuries, deaths, and violations of human rights that have occurred since 6 June in Addis Ababa and elsewhere in Ethiopia in the aftermath of the 15 May national elections. Carter Center observers have been witness to and received reports of acts of violence that appear to be the result of a lack of restraint on the part of some government security forces. The Center calls upon the government to take immediate steps to curb the extreme measures employed by the security forces, which have led to multiple deaths.

The Carter Center acknowledges that the opposition parties have a shared responsibility in the preservation of a peaceful climate in which the elections process can be concluded. Every press statement, public appearance, and action must be weighed in terms of its potential effects on the fragile peace that must be maintained until the announcement of the final results. The opposition parties must honor their commitment to work within the stated parameters of the electoral process as promulgated by the NEBE to realize their electoral gains and move the country forward.

The Carter Center denounces the deaths of more than 20 citizens this week in Addis Ababa as well as the clashes between government security forces and civilians.

The Carter Center strongly regrets the arrests of hundreds of students, which, from reports received by the Center, have included those from high schools as well as universities. We also lament the harassment and detention of some domestic observers and journalists.

We condemn the arrests and other methods of harassment of opposition leaders and members. These actions have led to a severe restriction of their movement and a threat to their personal safety.

The Center believes that access to information is critical at this time and therefore is disappointed with the government's decision to revoke the accreditation of journalists from Voice of America and Deutsche Welle on 7 June. We urge the government to provide all major parties access to the media to appeal for peace.

The Carter Center is hopeful that recent overtures toward compromise on the complaints process will continue. It is our sincerest hope that all parties will continue to seek solutions that mirror the faith in the democratic process that millions of Ethiopians have shown at the polls. The decisions taken in the completion of this year's election must recognize and honor their extreme patience and sacrifice.

We call upon all concerned, including the government, ruling party, and the opposition parties, to reaffirm their commitments to peaceful participation in the entirety of the elections process.


This is the Carter Center's third postelection statement. The Carter Center established an observation field presence in Ethiopia March 19, 2005.

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.

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