Ethiopia: Violence

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 9th March 2021.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the (a) United Nations (b) African Union and (c) Government of Ethiopia on political violence in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.

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

We are deeply concerned by the violent clashes in recent months in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. When I [Minister Duddridge] visited Ethiopia from 27-29 July 2020, I [Minister Duddridge] discussed growing ethnic tensions with the President and senior ministers, as well as the President of Oromia. Leaders on all sides must be clear ethnic-based violence and discrimination will not be tolerated, and must stress to all [those under their control] the importance of respecting human rights and avoiding civilian loss of life at all costs. The Foreign Secretary underlined the need for all Ethiopians to be respected and not be subject to violence and discrimination during his visit to Ethiopia on 22 January. The UK is committed to supporting a peaceful political transition in Ethiopia where all the rights of minorities are protected.

The UK has been consistent, alongside the UN and international partners, in calling for the protection of civilians in Ethiopia and respect for human rights. The Foreign Secretary raised the need for independent, international, investigations into allegations of human right abuses and violations when he met with Prime Minister Abiy during his visit to Ethiopia. We fully supported efforts by three African Union appointed envoys last November 2020 to push for peace. We welcome the visits of three UN Under-Secretaries General to Ethiopia in February, and their engagement with the Government of Ethiopia. We continue to monitor the human rights situation in Ethiopia closely.

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