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19.1.2016 - (2016/2520(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Hilde Vautmans, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Petras Auštrevičius, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Marielle de Sarnez, Urmas Paet, Pavel Telička, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ivo Vajgl, Dita Charanzová, Nedzhmi Ali, Martina Dlabajová, José Inácio Faria, Fredrick Federley, Nathalie Griesbeck, Marian Harkin, Filiz Hyusmenova, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Javier Nart, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Frédérique Ries, Robert Rochefort, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Paavo Väyrynen, Valentinas Mazuronis on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0082/2016

NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
Procedūra : 2016/2520(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Ethiopia


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on the post-election crisis and serious human right violation in Ethiopia and in particular those of 7 July 2005 on the human rights situation in Ethiopia, 13 October 2005 on the situation in Ethiopia,

-having regard to the local EU statement on the situation in Ethiopia on 30 July 2014,

-having regard to the joint statement by the HR/VP of the EU and the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs on 20 October 2015 in Brussels,

-having regard to the statement by the EU External Action spokesperson on 23 December 2015 on recent clashes in the Oromo and Amhara regions in Ethiopia,

-having regard to the Human Rights Watch report on Ethiopia on January 2011,

-having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

-having regard to the fact that Ethiopia is the fourth largest recipient of EU aid in the world and the EU its most significant trade partner,

-having regard to the African Charter on Human Rights and Peoples of 1981,

-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil Rights, 1966 policies,

-having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

-having regard to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, adopted in 1995, in particular its articles 46 and 47;

-having regard to Article 135 of the Rules,


A.Whereas in Ethiopia, which was one of the poorest countries in the world and is the Africa’s second most populous nation, the ruling party (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front –EPRDF-) dominated by the Amhara and Tigray ethnic clans has been in power since the overthrow of the military government in 1991; whereas some of the largest ethnic communi­ties, particularly the Oromo and Somali (Ogaden), have been marginalized by Abyssinians (Amhara/Tigray) with little participation in the political representation, and are subject to regular and violent human rights abuses;

B.whereas due to poor governance, the situation is particularly dire for many of the minorities in the country; whereas the region of Ogaden is targeted through a government embargo on trade and food aid, especially since 2007; whereas Ethiopia is prone to recurrent droughts and floods; whereas those who try to stand up for their constitutional rights are systematically targeted and exposed to torture, sexual violence, land grabbing, generating political and social conflicts, arising protesters and opposition groups;

C.whereas the government drawn up an anti-terrorism law adopted on 7 July 2009 and came into force on the next 28 August and was abusively used to target political opponents, stifle dissent, and silence journalists, the freedom of speech was heavily curtailed with strict criminal sanctions, including for the media;

D.whereas during a demonstration in Addis Ababa on 8 June 2015, security forces killed at least 36 citizens and in the aftermath arrested thousands of persons, mostly linked to the opposition, who were accused of spreading political unrest; whereas human rights violations denounced by the opposition intensified and about 16 journalists have been forced to exile and according the Committee to Protect Journalists, 57 media professionals have fled Ethiopia in the last five years and a number of independent publications have shut down due to official pressure;

E.whereas Ethiopia is one of the largest recipients of donors aid in Africa, receiving almost US$ 4billion in 2014; whereas Ethiopia enjoys strong support from foreign countries and bodies because of its role as host of the African Union and strategic regional player, its contribution to UN peace keeping, its progress on development indicators;

F.whereas the economic growth continued apace, along with significant foreign investments, including in the agriculture, construction and manufacturing sectors, large scale development projects such as hydroelectric dam building and plantations, and widespread land-leasing, often to foreign companies, many people, farmers as well as pastoralists were driven from their homes;

G.whereas the situation deteriorated in mid-April 2014, the government announced implementation of "Addis Ababa Integrated Regional Development Plan" (the "Master Plan" for short) which proposes to annex most of the city's surrounding areas belonging to the National Regional State of Oromia, the largest Ethiopian region surrounding Addis Ababa;

H.whereas the "Master Plan" provoked an immediate reaction from university students joined by farmers and other residents across the state of Oromia, the demonstrations were strongly repressed by the government through its security forces (such as the Federal and State Police, the Army, and the Special Forces), firing live bullets on demonstrators, killing at least 140 protestors and wounding many others since 12 November 2015 according to HRW; whereas the government has admitted to killing dozens of protesters, and said 13 security forces also been killed and has promised to launch an investigation according to Al Jazeera;

1.calls on the Ethiopian Government to immediately stop harassing the opposition and all of its citizens and enforce the right to freedom of speech in the country in accordance with the Art; 29 of the Ethiopian Constitution;

2.welcomes the release of the bloggers and journalists who have been acquitted of their charges related to the anti-terror law in July last year, and calls on the Ethiopian authorities to take similar steps towards the rest of opposition leaders, journalists and bloggers;

3.condemns the use of force killing peaceful protesters and urges the Ethiopian government to bring the continuing exactions perpetrated against the Oromo community to an end, calls on Ethiopian authorities to conduct an impartial and independent investigation on the repression that took place against the protesters, ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted and tried before the competent jurisdictions;

4.welcomes the announcement of the cancelation of the "Master Plan" after Oromo protests, takes note that the government has also said that plan was going to be implemented only once "a consensus had been reached after in-depth and full discussions" and asks for this to be confirmed; calls for immediate release the Oromo activists arbitrarily arrested in the protest against the plan as well as all other political prisoners;

5.calls on the Ethiopian government to lift the sanction on the Ogaden region and guarantee food supply to its people; and to ensure all minorities in the country can exercise their rights to social justice, equity and democracy;

6.encourages also the Ethiopian government to review its anti-terrorism law (Anti-terror proclamation n° 652/2009) to bring it into line with international human rights law and principles so that allows the Ethiopian citizen to express their political views through really free and secure democratic country; recalls that Ethiopia accepted a recommendation to "adopt measures which guarantee the non-occurrence of cases of torture and ill-treatment in places of detention" at its UN Universal Periodic Review in 2014;

7.Urge the government to immediately invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly and other UN human rights experts to visit Ethiopia to report on the situation;

8.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Institutions of the African Union and the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority for Development), The Secretary General of the UN, the UN General Assembly, the Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Assembly Joint ACP-EU-African Parliament.