Ethiopia: Human Rights

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 13th September 2021.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Labour, Leeds Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation facing the Oromo people in Ethiopia.

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

We are concerned by incidences of ethnic violence in Ethiopia including in the Oromia region, and especially on the Oromo border with the Amhara region. The Government of Ethiopia, regional governments and community leaders on all sides must be clear that they do not support ethnic-based violence and discrimination, and on the importance of respecting human rights and safeguarding human life. The Foreign Secretary and I have both raised the importance of respect for human rights - I did so most recently with the Minister of Peace in July. The elections of 21 June also took place in challenging and problematic conditions with a restricted political environment, including the detention of opposition members, harassment of media representatives and parties facing difficulties in freely campaigning. We call on the government and all stakeholders in Ethiopian society to ensure that a meaningful, broad-based national dialogue process takes place and to commit to peaceful solutions. This is needed to enable Ethiopia's democratic development and to reduce conflict across the country.

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