ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopia has rejected a recent Amnesty International report on alleged human rights violations in the country as being “one-sided.”
The report by Amnesty International accused Ethiopian security forces of committing “grave violations between December 2018 and December 2019 despite reforms which led to the release of thousands of detainees, expansion of the civic and political space and repeal of draconian laws, such as the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which were previously used to repress human rights.”
The international rights group documented alleged violations as having occurred in two districts in the Amhara and Oromia regional states.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a 2019 Nobel peace laureate, was elected to office in April 2018 and immediately embarked on wide-ranging political, social and economic reforms.
In a statement late on Friday, the country’s Foreign Ministry said the report was a “one-sided snapshot security analysis” that failed to appropriately capture the “broader political trajectory and security developments in Ethiopia” since reform efforts began.
“While the reform process has at times experienced bumps, the Government of Ethiopia [GOE] has proven that it remains committed to build a consolidated democracy. For the GOE the loss of a single life is one too many,” it said.
The statement also pledged an independent investigation, which it noted had been recommended by the Amnesty International report, “at the appropriate time.”
It added that the country’s security forces had strong community support “to ensure law and order” at the locations of human rights violations alleged in the Amnesty International report.
“Apparently, communal issues across different parts of the country, including in the areas where the report is focused, have been largely resolved. And as the report also indicates, the political space is wide and open. The security problems identified are more of banditry than communal.”
However, two political parties operating in the most populous regional state of Oromia, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo Federalist Congress issued a joint statement calling on the government to take Amnesty International’s report seriously.
On Friday, Amnesty International released a report saying that Ethiopian security forces had committed “horrendous human rights violations including burning homes to the ground, extrajudicial executions, rape, arbitrary arrests and detentions.”
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