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Obama criticised for calling Ethiopia democratic

CRITICISED: US President Barack Obama

ETHIOPIAN OPPOSITION figures have criticised President Barack Obama for calling the country democratic.

Yonathan Tesfaye, a spokesman for Ethiopia's opposition Blue party, said yesterday that Obama behaved like a "tricky and mischievous politician" when he said Ethiopia, whose ruling party won every seat in parliament in May elections, has a "democratically elected" government.

The US leader made the remark during a news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Obama departed Ethiopia yesterday to end a two-nation African trip that included a stop in Kenya.

Human rights groups have criticised Obama for visiting Ethiopia, saying his trip lends legitimacy to an oppressive government. Hailemariam has defended Ethiopia's commitment to democracy.

Ethiopia is the world's second-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Eritrea, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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