Ottawa, ON – On April 10, 2018, the US House of Representatives passed House Resolution 128 demanding Ethiopia’s government to respect for human rights, rule of law, democracy and inclusive governance. I believe that the resolution sends strong signals to Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Dr. Abiye Ahmed, who received support of the Ethiopian people and Western allies, to take a meaningful and fundamental political reform in the country.
The resolution, among others, calls for Ethiopia’s government “to allow an independent examination of the state of human rights in Ethiopia by a rapporteur appointed by the United Nations.”
For years, Ethiopia’s security forces have arrested tens of thousands of people in the country particularly in the Amhara and Oromia regions. According to Amnesty International Ethiopia’s government has killed over 1,000 demonstrators. Torture and detention is rampant and independent media, civil society, and opposition parties are severely limited.
I, like many of Ethiopia’s international partners, would like to reiterate that:
- All political prisoners and prisoners of conscious be released immediately and unconditionally;
- The state of emergency which deprives Ethiopian’s of fundamental human rights be lifted immediately; and
- The new PM start urgent dialogue with all opposition parties both inside and outside the country.
I recognize that Ethiopia is currently at a political cross road. At this difficult time for the country, the new PM has a golden opportunity to craft a new course to transition from tyranny to an inclusive democratic Ethiopia.