US law inches towards demanding accountability from Ethiopia

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia


January 26, 2014

Washington, DC–. Is United States policy towards Ethiopia shifting? For years Ethiopians, social justice groups, human rights organizations and civic groups have been calling on donor countries to demand greater accountability from the Government of Ethiopia for funds received, citing the lack of political space, endemic injustice, the repression of basic freedoms and widespread human rights crimes; however, now, the people of Ethiopia have reason to expect that the climate of impunity is changing. 

The United States House Appropriations Committee has included stringent new requirements of accountability from the Government of Ethiopia in a section of the new 2014 bill that directly addresses Ethiopia. (Please refer to the sub-section of the bill below.) It links the release of U.S. funds designated for Ethiopian military and police forces to Ethiopia’s implementation of corrective policies that would address the declining state of human and democratic rights in the country, including in the Somali Region of Ethiopia where access to the area must be given to human rights and humanitarian organizations.

New steps are also to be required that would document actions taken by the government “to investigate and prosecute members of the Ethiopian military and police who have been credibly alleged to have violated human rights.” This is commendable because it is the accountability we have been calling for since the investigations following the Gambella massacre. The names are there but what has always been missing is the impartial judicial system.

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US Congress Demands Accountability from Ethiopia