After getting its journalists released, the NY Times had this to say about the arrest.
We would like to thank Ambassador Yamamoto and his colleagues at the
American Embassy in Addis Ababa, and Prime Minister Meles for their help in
Honestly, this statement is so silly that it is laughable. The Ethiopian army doesn't operate without the authorization of the PM in cases which have international implications. Meles arrests...Meles kicks...and Meles releases. That, at least, is our folklore.