Ethiopia: Violence

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

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Photo of Imran Ahmad Khan Imran Ahmad Khan Conservative, Wakefield

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Ethiopian counterpart on the recent ethnic-related violence in that country.

Photo of Imran Ahmad Khan Imran Ahmad Khan Conservative, Wakefield

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department has offered to the Ethiopian Government in response to the recent ethnic-related violence in that country.

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

The UK is concerned by the ongoing 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. I 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. I pushed for full and transparent investigations into the violence and that those detained are afforded due process and their cases heard promptly. I 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. Since 2016, the FCDO has provided over £30 million to support Ethiopia's electoral process, support engagement with citizens and support civil society organisations 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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