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Monday, 22 May, 2000, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Eritreans protest in London
Eritrea protest
Eritrean demonstrators left Whitehall closed to traffic
Traffic in central London has been brought to a halt by thousands of Eritreans protesting at Ethiopia's invasion of their country.

There were scuffles with police as demonstrators broke through barriers keeping them on the pavement at Parliament Street.

They chanted "We want justice", and demanded United Nations action.



They are calling on the UK Government to condemn Ethiopia

Michael Mebrahtu
Protest organiser

Ethiopian forces continued advances deep into Eritrean territory on Sunday.

Police closed Parliament Street in both directions on Monday morning but there was no immediate attempt to disperse the protesters.

The crowd continued chanting and waving placards that read "Stop financing Ethiopia's war", "UN acted in Kosovo and Kuwait, why not Eritrea?" and "Pressure Ethiopia to accept peace."

Traffic chaos

A similar protest on Friday caused traffic chaos near the Houses of Parliament.

Michael Mebrahtu, who organised Monday's protest, said of the demonstrators: "They are calling on the UK government to condemn Ethiopia and its aggression against Eritrea. We want the UN to act.

"We are British citizens and we are calling on the public to take note of what is happening.

"The international community gave Ethiopia the go-ahead to invade and no member of the UN has yet condemned this action."

Thousands of refugees fleeing the Ethiopian invasion have entered Sudan and the UN, European Union and Organisation of African Unity have called for peace.

The declared aim of Ethiopia's offensive is to destroy the Eritrean military completely in order to end the two-year conflict along their common border.

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19 May 00 | UK Politics
Anger as protest closes Whitehall
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