German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has asked the Ethiopian government to allow protests and that police response to these protests should be proportionate.
She also called on the government to include opposition groups in the political process. Merkel is currently in Ethiopia on the last leg of her historic African tour. Her trip started in Mali on Sunday, before she went to Niger on Monday.
There was pressure by rights groups tasking the German leader to speak on human rights in the country. Ethiopia over the weekend imposed a 6-month state of emergency in a bid to quell anti-government protests. The United Nations and other bodies have charged the government to desist from mass arrests and the partial internet shutdown.
Merkel’s African tour was focused on seeking investment opportunities and security cooperation with the host nations. The German government hopes primarily to drive economic development on the continent and in the long run curb future waves of migration to Europe.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Desalegn Hailemariam, also refuted claims that security forces employed violent tactics against protesters in the Oromia region.
Desalegn and Merkel held a joint press conference after the prime minister received the German leader at the national palace.