Ethiopia: Politics and Government

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 16th June 2021.

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Photo of Kieran Mullan Kieran Mullan Conservative, Crewe and Nantwich

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

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

We remain concerned by the political situation in Ethiopia due to the impact of the continued fighting in the Tigray region and ethnic and political tensions and violence elsewhere in Ethiopia. I have a long-standing concern about the deterioration of political freedoms in Ethiopia, and I raised the delay to elections with President Sahle-Work during the 17 May Sudan Conference in Paris. On 14 April, the British Ambassador met, alongside Ambassadors and representatives from other Embassies in Addis Ababa, the Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General and pressed concerns about the narrow political and civic space and arrests of candidates. This builds on discussions the Foreign Secretary had with Prime Minister Abiy during his visit to Ethiopia on 22 January this year, which also included the situation in Tigray.

I joined a meeting of development ministers from key donor nations, including USAid Administrator Samantha Power, on 9 June to further discuss the situation in Tigray. We agreed that the humanitarian situation is of grave concern, and that enhanced support is needed. The UK will allocate a further £16.7 million to respond to the crisis, bringing our total spend on Tigray to £47.7 million since November 2020. Whilst we scale-up our response, it is clear that the humanitarian crisis will not end whilst the conflict continues. We must see an end to fighting and the withdrawal of Eritrean forces.

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