Honda Releases Statement on Violence in Ethiopia

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Oct 28, 2016

I offer my deepest condolences to all the families in Ethiopia who have lost loved ones during the series of protests in Amhara and Oromia regions.
The United States and Ethiopia have shared a long, fruitful relationship and are partners on a number of issues paramount to the region. Ethiopia is an important ally and a major contributor to peace and security in Africa and in the fight against violent extremists. The nation has also shown tremendous generosity and empathy to refugees escaping violence and repression. Due to the friendship between and common interests of our two nations, the U.S. has a stake in Ethiopia’s stability, prosperity and security. When Ethiopia excels, it spurs national and regional growth and serves as an inspiration to many others both in the region and in Africa.
The recent deaths and violence during protests across Amhara and Oromia are the culmination of ongoing conflicts that require a prompt and measured response. To many, the recent declaration of a state of emergency signals a security-centric approach, as opposed to one that prioritizes peace and unity. At the same time, the destruction of factories and buildings by protesters is counterproductive to stability and economic growth. A peaceful, democratic Ethiopia requires both the Government and the people to respect human rights and the rule of law. If the violence escalates, I am concerned that it will result in both broader internal strife, and threaten regional security.
I am encouraged by the recent remarks by President Mulatu Teshome on October 10 and his commitment to political reforms and addressing the grievances of the public. Prompt resolution of internal disagreements is of paramount importance to the people of Ethiopia, the United States, and our continued cooperation and of vital interest to the region and continent.
I call upon the Government of Ethiopia to treat all protesters and prisoners in a humane fashion and to investigate all incidents in a thorough, transparent manner in accordance with due process and the rule of law. It is my strong hope that as our two nations continue to deepen our long-standing partnership, and the Government of Ethiopia will pursue a strong commitment to free speech, timely release of political prisoners and journalists, and political reforms that address the demands of the Ethiopian people.
Contact: Carmen Russell
Phone: (202) 308-4005
Email: carmen.russell@mail.house.gov
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