|Ambassador Girma Birru Geda|
Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Girma Biru, said around 15 people had been involved in the incident, which occurred at the embassy on Monday.
“They first went to the consular service office and rudely demanded to speak to the ambassador. And when the officer told them that they needed an appointment, they insulted him and went out and tried to take down the Ethiopian flag,” he said.
US security forces subsequently took members of the group into custody after they refused to leave peacefully.
The culprits were detained for an hour, with authorities recording their names and addresses, before they were released.
According to the ambassador, no legal demonstration had been planned on the day in question and group members are known to US authorities.
He further went onto saying that the culprits were mercenaries of Eritrea and Ethiopia opposition groups who are reportedly upset by the successful outcome of recent discussion between the leaders of Ethiopia and the United States on boosting cooperation in the areas of trade, peacekeeping and fighting terrorism.
“The individuals are lackeys of few political parties and Shaebia (Eritrea) who use cheap and nasty language to insult Ethiopian government officials that come to the country for business,” he said.
The ambassador said the attack was as a “desperate act” in response to the growing relationship between the two countries.