News: Ethiopia says US Congress decision on resolution 128 disrespects its sovereignty

Etenesh Abera

Addis Abeba, April 11/2018 – A statement released by the office of the spokesperson of Ethiopia’s ministry of foreign affairs strongly condemned the decision by the US House of Representatives to pass Resolution 128, saying it “disrespected its sovereignty”. It also said the resolution was  “untimely and inappropriate.”

The statement came after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a critical Ethiopia resolution 128 (HRes128) yesterday. HRes128 calls for respect for human rights and encourages inclusive governance in Ethiopia. But it also contains sections that condemn “the killing of peaceful protesters and excessive use of force by Ethiopian security forces; the detention of journalists, students, activists and political leaders who exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and expression through peaceful protests; and  the abuse of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to stifle political and civil dissent and journalistic freedoms.”

But according to the statement from the ministry, the resolution failed to understand the longstanding bilateral relationship between Ethiopia and the United States of America and disregarded the changes that were happening on the ground, including the recent release of thousands of political prisoners and the orderly transition that saw the current Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed replace former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned on Feb. 15.  The statement further said that the decision to pass the resolution disregarded the promises of change made by the new PM Dr. Abiy to further undertake deeper reforms.

However, the statement said Ethiopia would continue maintaining its diplomatic relationships and its cooperation in peace and security areas with the US and thanked members of the congress who voted against the resolution.

Yesterday, an official from Ethiopia’s ministry of justice told Addis Standard that Ethiopian authorities were “anxiously waiting for the result,” and said “the timing of the resolution is unhelpful given all the positive changes the country is undertaking currently including the appointment of a reformist Prime Minister.” AS


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