To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Ethiopia about reports that at least 500 Christians have been killed in that country since June.
The UK is concerned by recent reports of violence in Ethiopia following the murder of Hachalu Hundessa on 29 June, and the widespread ethnically-driven violence that followed in Addis Ababa and the Oromia region. We have confirmed reports of over 200 killed in protests in June/July and my [Baroness Sugg] sympathies go to all those affected. Religious affiliation tends to be drawn along ethnic lines in Ethiopia. We assess that faith has not tended to be a reason for division in Ethiopia, which has been known as a notably multi-faith and tolerant society. However, we are concerned that some of the rhetoric around violence in recent months has taken a religious dimension. The Minister for Africa visited Ethiopia from 27 - 29 July and was able to discuss recent events with the President, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the President of Oromia Region. He pushed for full and transparent investigations of the violence and that those detained are afforded due process and their cases heard promptly. The Minister for Africa also expressed the need for more peaceful dialogue between different groups in Ethiopia and for space to be given for political debate. We shall continue to monitor the situation, raise our concerns at the deaths of civilians and to raise the importance of respect for human rights in meetings with the Ethiopian Government and regional leaders.