He told IRIN that in April a group of young Yemeni men attacked him after he received his salary. And if I'd gone to the police station, they would have arrested me as I don't have a card. Mona Tareq, a 35-year-old woman from the Oromo community in Sana'a whose husband died a few days ago of kidney problems, said they did not have enough money for the surgery he needed.
Mona now lives alone and said she knows nothing about her five children in Ethiopia. And if I return home, I will be killed [by the Ethiopian government] because I am opposed to it,” she added.
Shutting down the Internet will not silence opposition, but it will scare away foreign investors and tourists.
Using force may temporarily deter some protesters, but it will exacerbate their anger and make them more uncompromising when they inevitably return to the streets.
Their representatives told IRIN they lead miserable lives in Yemen and live in fear of deportation.
Mohammed Mousa, 27, an Oromo who has an ID card from the Somali community, is able to work in a sewage plant in Sana'a. Had I run away and refused to give them the money, I would have been accused of theft.
Ethiopia rightly condemns such rhetoric, and the United States joins that condemnation.
But Ethiopia has made far too much progress to be undone by the jabs of scattered antagonists who have little support among the Ethiopian people.
Ethiopia's next great national task is to master the challenge of political openness, just as it has been mastering the challenge of economic development. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons.
Yet security forces have continued to use excessive force to prevent Ethiopians from congregating peacefully, killing and injuring many people and arresting thousands.
We believe thousands of Ethiopians remain in detention for alleged involvement in the protests - in most cases without having been brought before a court, provided access to legal counsel, or formally charged with a crime. Arresting opposition leaders and restricting civil society will not stop people from protesting, but it can create leaderless movements that leave no one with whom the government can mediate a peaceful way forward.
While a few of the protests may have been used as a vehicle for violence, we are convinced that the vast majority of participants were exercising their right under Ethiopia's constitution to express their views.
Any counsel that the United States might offer is intended to help find solutions, and is given with humility.
Ethiopia is a major contributor to peace and security in Africa, the U.