Press Statement

John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
April 29, 2016

2000px-Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_State.svg(State Department) — The United States is deeply concerned by the Government of Ethiopia’s recent decision to file terrorism charges against Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) First Vice-Chairman Bekele Gerba and others in the Oromia region who were arrested in late 2015.

We again urge the Ethiopian government to discontinue its reliance on the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation law to prosecute journalists, political party members, and activists, as this practice silences independent voices that enhance, rather than hinder, Ethiopia’s democratic development.

We commend Ethiopian officials for pledging to address legitimate grievances from their citizens and acknowledging that security forces were responsible for some of the violence that took place during the protests in Oromia; however, the government continues to detain an unknown number of people for allegedly taking part in these protests and has not yet held accountable any security forces responsible for alleged abuses. This undermines the trust and confidence needed to produce lasting solutions.

We urge the Ethiopian government to respect due process of those detained by investigating allegations of mistreatment, by publicly presenting the evidence it possesses against them, and by distinguishing between political opposition to the government and the use or incitement of violence. We reaffirm our call on the government to protect the constitutionally enshrined rights of its citizens, including the right to participate in political parties, and we urge the Government to promptly release those imprisoned for exercising these rights.

5 thoughts on “U.S. Department of State: On Ethiopia’s Charges of Terrorism Against Political Leaders

  1. The United States is “deeply concerned”. Is that it? Is this not the same old phrase used over and over again every time woyanes/TPLF violet the rights and freedom of Ethiopians for the last 25 years?

    As the United States is the major enabler of woyanes/TPLF, the regime can be stopped from committing crimes against the country and its peoples by all its enablers. Personally, I don’t believe there was/is genuine concern or political will and will there be one in the future.

    We shall wait and see if the “deep concern” will bring any positive result.

  2. That is fake sympathy, but at least is good that they let us know they “partially” knew what is going on in Ethiopia under their friend ‘s leadership.
    Amerca was the one that let the Ethiopian empire suffer under comunist regim and now once again it seems it pushing it go for China.
    Time will show us.

  3. Thank you the USA for promptly reacting against the resent dangerous moves of Ethiopian government. Many Ethiopians, particularly the Oromo are very appreciative of this statement. As our leaders have foresaw, the country will be stateless like our neighbors if practical actions are not taken before it becomes too late. I hope the USA will practically be on the side of the subjugated peoples of Ethiopia to prevent the looming political, social, and economic crises in the region .

  4. Times is running out for TPLF and the US is just looking for alternative to this regime but who will they choose or should I say what tribe, the mad ahmara that want to assimilate every ethnic group or the oromo who lack military power. Until then they will be just concerned because they don’t want a war and instability in the horn with more refugees coming to Europe.

  5. deeply concerned is not halting genocides against oromo peopke,sidama and in gambela.
    particularly in Oromia regional state the situation is getting worst as rapes as young as 8 yrs girls and killing the entire family become daily events.
    Therefore the matter should be taken to security council to faciliatate peace keeping forces and to take those responssible to international court of justice

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