Posted at: 06/20/2013 5:05 PM
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Ethiopia’s opposition calls for national protests

(AP) ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Ethiopia’s main opposition party says it will launch what it said will be a sustained national campaign against the country’s ruling party.

The announcement Thursday follows a peaceful demonstration on June 2. It was the first public protest since 2005 when security forces killed hundreds of protesters in postelection violence.

The Unity for Democracy and Justice Party said the country is heading toward "absolute dictatorship" under the ruling party, which has been in control since 1991.

The party said it would hold rallies to pressure the government to remove the anti-terrorism law. It will also call for the respect of human and democratic rights and will demand the release of jailed dissidents, journalists and political leaders.

The protests are the first show of disapproval against Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)