January 25, 2016
On 21 January 2016, the European Parliament passed an urgent resolution on the situation in Ethiopia, condemning the use of violence by the security forces against peaceful Oromo protesters, in particular, and drawing attention to the increased number of human rights violations in Ethiopia, more generally. The resolution also highlights the dire situation in the Ogaden region and calls for a credible investigation into atrocities committed in the country. Importantly, as stressed by UNPO at multiple occasions, the resolution calls for greater scrutiny by the EU of its development assistance to Ethiopia, to ensure it is not contributing to further human rights violations.
A recent plan by the Ethiopian Government to expand its capital city, Addis Ababa, into surrounding Oromo lands has caused mass demonstrations among the Oromo community over the past months. Since November 2015, at least 140 peaceful protestors have been killed and many more imprisoned. Ethiopia being an important partner to the European Union, in terms of ensuring security and stability in the Horn of Africa, and one of the major recipients of European development aid, the EU’s legislative body made a clear statement through its resolution of 21 January, that there has to be an end to the ongoing human rights abuses and brutal suppression of dissenting voices by the Ethiopian government.
The adoption of the resolution came only a week after a protest in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, which brought together more than 100 Oromos, sympathizers and UNPO staff. During the debate that preceded the vote, long-term and newer supporters of the peoples of Ethiopia, including MEPs Ana Gomes(S&D), Jordi Sebastià (Greens/EFA) , Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD), Mark Demesmaeker (ECR), Jiří Pospíšil (EPP), Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea (ALDE), Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE-NGL) and Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D) raised their concerns over the recent events in Oromia and the overall human rights situation in Ethiopia. The text, supported by seven parliamentary groups and authored by more than 65 MEPs, was adopted in plenary without amendments.
Following an earlier plenary debate on the situation in Ethiopia last May, which fell short of resulting in a resolution, UNPO is delighted to see that European Parliament has not forgotten the plights of the Ethiopian peoples. In this context, UNPO will continue to work closely with its members, partners and MEPs to demand human rights protection and democracy in Ethiopia.
To watch the video of the plenary debate please click here.