Ethiopia: Politics and Government

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 7th October 2020.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (International Trade) (Brexit and EU Negotiations), Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) (Brexit and EU Negotiations)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political and security situation in Ethiopia.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is concerned by the political and security situation in Ethiopia, including ongoing violence between ethnic groups, and reports of arrests and abuses by security services. I [Minister Duddridge] visited Ethiopia from 27 - 29 July and was able to discuss these issues with the President, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the President of Oromia Region. I [Minister Duddridge] pushed for full and transparent investigations into the violence, and that those detained are afforded due process and their cases heard promptly. I [Minister Duddridge] also expressed the need for more peaceful dialogue between different ethnic groups in Ethiopia and for space to be given for political debate.

The UK welcomes the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia to strengthen accountability. We have provided direct support to public consultations on the new civil society legislation and draft media proclamations. The UK is facilitating capacity building in Ethiopia to ensure that democratic institutions fulfil their constitutional mandate. For instance, we have supported the National Election Board of Ethiopia, contributing over £15 million of funding towards election preparations. We also support civil society organisations in Ethiopia so that they can play an increasing role in monitoring human rights. We will track the situation, raise our concerns at the deaths of civilians, and raise the importance of respect for human rights in meetings with the Government of Ethiopia and regional leaders.

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