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2016/2520(RSP) - 21/01/2016 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation in Ethiopia.

The text adopted in plenary was tabled by the EPP, S&D, ECR, ALDE, GUE/NGL, Greens/EFA and EFDD groups.

Parliament recalled that over the past two months Ethiopia’s largest region, Oromia, home of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, has been hit by a wave of mass protests over the expansion of the municipal boundary of the capital, Addis Ababa, which has put farmers at risk of being evicted from their land.

According to international human rights organisations, security forces have responded to the generally peaceful protests by killing at least 140 protesters and injuring many more. On the contrary, the government has only admitted the deaths of dozens of people as well as 12 members of the security forces.

Parliament strongly condemned the recent use of excessive force by the security forces in Oromia and in all Ethiopian regions and urged the immediate release of all those jailed for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

Recalling that the Ethiopian Government of its obligations to guarantee fundamental rights, Parliament called on it to:

  • carry out a credible, transparent and independent investigation into the killings of protesters and into other alleged human rights violations in connection with the protest movement, and to fairly prosecute those responsible before the competent jurisdictions; 
  • respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter, including the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and association;
  • immediately invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and other UN human rights experts to visit Ethiopia to report on the situation; 
  • stop suppressing the free flow of information, including by jamming media broadcasts and harassing media, to guarantee the rights of local civil society and media and to facilitate access throughout Ethiopia for independent journalists and human rights monitors;
  • stop using anti-terrorism legislation (Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No 652/2009) to repress political opponents, dissidents, human rights defenders;
  • review its anti-terrorism law in order to bring it into line with international human rights law and principles; 
  • prevent any ethnic or religious discrimination and to encourage and take action in favour of a peaceful and constructive dialogue between all communities.

Parliament recalled that respect for human rights and the rule of law are crucial to the EU’s policies to promote development in Ethiopia and throughout the Horn of Africa. It called on the EU, as the single largest donor, to monitor programmes and policies effectively to ensure that EU development assistance is not contributing to human rights violations in Ethiopia, particularly through programmes linked to the displacement of farmers and pastoralists.

Expressing deep concern about the current devastating climatic conditions in Ethiopia, which have worsened the humanitarian situation in the country, Parliament called for the EU, together with its international partners, to scale up its support. It welcomed the contribution recently announced by the EU and called on the Commission to ensure that this additional funding is provided as a matter of urgency.

Lastly, Parliament recalled that Ethiopia is an important country of destination, transit and origin for migrants and asylum seekers, and that it hosts the largest refugee population in Africa. It took note, therefore, of the adoption of a common agenda on migration and mobility between the EU and Ethiopia and called on the Commission to monitor closely all projects recently initiated within the framework of the EU Trust Fund for Africa.