Ethiopia’s prime minister, Meles Zenawi, told a press conference of international reporters Friday that the divisions in Ethiopia are primarily among the elite.He was responding to the first question, asked in Amharic at the gathering by VOA’s Meleskachew Amha, regarding a sense of division within Ethiopia greater that at any other time in the nation’s recent history.
VOA's business correspondent also looks at the Prime Minister's response to alleged economic crisis in Ethiopia. (LISTEN TO BUSINESS REPORT)
Amharic service hosts held a question and answer interview with Meleskachew on Friday's program, shortly after the two-hour-and-45-minute press conference ended.
The reporter referred to conflicts between the government and two rebel groups, the Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front and asked if the government has any plans to solve them. Meleskachew also asked the prime minister if the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front party was flexible enough to deal with these divisions.
Prime Minister Meles said there may be division among few
elite groups rather than the general public. But as for the allegation that the
ruling party is not flexible, he said that may refer to the life sentence for
opposition party leader Bertukan Medheksa.
Meles said she is in prison because she violated the law, not because
the ruling party is inflexible. He said his party’s responsibility to help
uphold the law.
The remaining questions were asked by other journalists in English about the prime minister’s intention to run seek another term of office in 2010, and questions regarding the nation’s economy.Tune in on Saturday and next Tuesday’s Business Report for more news from the prime minister’s press conference.