At least 22 protesters were shot dead by security forces in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, last week. But there has been little hue and cry from New Labour over this outrage.
Ethiopia’s prime minister, Meles Zenawi, is a member of Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa. He has been hailed by the US government as a “progressive” African leader.
That’s because Meles has dutifully implemented economic liberalisation measures in Ethiopia and supported George Bush’s war on terror.
So when his troops gunned down people protesting over rigged elections, there was only the mildest of protests from the British and US governments.
They called for “all sides to avoid violence” — as if unarmed protesters were in some way responsible for the state violence unleashed against them.