Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have criticize the European Union’s (EU) policy vis-à-vis Ethiopia arguing it is “falling a long way behind its own standards regarding human rights”.
The deteriorating human rights situation, the killings of protesting Oromos and the country-wide six-month state of emergency declared on Sunday 9 October by the Ethiopian government were amongst the main issues raised by the MEPs during the meeting on Wednesday.
According to a meeting by two EU committees – the Human Rights subcommittee and Development committee Members – there was the need to maintain dialogue with Ethiopia with good governance and human rights leading the subject of engagement.
DROI Committee Press (@EP_HumanRights) October 12, 2016
MEPs expressed their concerns as regards the worsening human rights situation in Ethiopia during a debate with various experts and representatives from the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Commission, and the Ethiopian Embassy.
‘“Maintain the dialogue with Ethiopia” is the priority said representatives of the EEAS adding that the good governance and human rights dialogue will be the first to be activated,’ a statement released by the EU parliament read.
The statement added that the EU was ‘‘worried by continuous public arrests, waves of violence and by the country-wide six-month state of emergency declared by the Ethiopian authorities on Sunday 9 October after months of anti-government protests.’‘
United States reaction to Ethiopia’s state of emergency
An assistant spokesman of the US State Department, John Kirby, also spoke on Tuesday evening stating that the US was concerned about developments in Ethiopia.
His full response was:
‘‘Well, we’re obviously very concerned and we take note of President Mulatu’s October 10th address to parliament committing the government to address some of the grievances raised by protesters, such as land rights and electoral reform. I encourage the government to act decisively on those proposals.
“We encourage the Ethiopian Government to clarify how it intends to implement the state of emergency that was declared this weekend, particularly regarding the emergency measures that authorized detention without a warrant, limitations on free speech, prohibitions on public gatherings, and impositions of curfews.
“Even if these measures are intended to restore order, silencing independent voices and interfering with the rights of Ethiopians is a self-defeating tactic that exacerbates rather than addresses their grievances.”