Ethiopian Information Minister Berhan Hailu says the government is not responsible for the deaths of dozens of people during three days of clashes between the police and protesters.
In an interview with VOA, Mr. Berhan blamed the violence on what he called politically motivated people who have attacked police and damaged property in Addis Ababa. He also called the protests illegal and described the gatherings as "violent."
Mr. Berhan also told VOA that police are currently fully in control of the country. He dismissed charges by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists which says the Ethiopian government has threatened journalists. Ethiopia has accused the Voice of America and Deutsche Welle of bias.
Mr. Berhan said journalists are not reporting the reality of the situation and are working with unlawful, politically motivated people who are intent on destabilizing Ethiopia.