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Ethiopia: Top US official arrives for broad-based rights and political dialogue

Ethiopia: Top US official arrives for broad-based rights and political dialogue


Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Affairs is in Ethiopia for a four day working visit. Malinowski will be in the country between today December 14 and is expected to depart on December 17.

The Department of State disclosed that ‘‘During his visit, he will meet with government officials as part of a continued dialogue on human rights and governance.

‘‘He will also meet with members of civil society, political party representatives, and local government officials during the visit,’‘ they added.

The United States (US) recently renewed its travel alert for the Horn of Africa nation despite other countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium lifting their travel bans. The US extension warned that there was still the potential for unrest in the country.

The US embassy is on record to have stated that some restrictions in the October 8 state of emergency was hindering the effective discharge of their duties. They also cited the restriction on communication as part of the reasons they extended their travel alert.

Ethiopia has since late last year been suffering from anti-government protests that have been met with security clampdown. Rights campaigners have said hundreds of protesters have been killed between when the protests started till the imposition of the state of emergency.

The curfew has substantially brought peace to the country according to the Command post in charge of security. Ther have been reports that security forces are increasingly using repression as a tool of enforcing rules and that they were targeting opposition elements.

The country’s tourism industry revenue took a massive dip in the wake of anti-government protests, the country projected a loss of about 400 million dollars in the 2016 budget year. Income from the sector had fallen by more than $7m (£5.5m) over the last quarter according to the tourism ministry.

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