Resolution Calls for Commitment to Human Rights, Democracy, Rule of Law
Over the past two years, Ethiopia’s government security forces have arrested tens of thousands of people protesting government policies and have killed over 1,000 demonstrators. Torture in detention is rife, and independent media, civil society, and opposition parties are severely limited.
The United States, like many of Ethiopia’s international partners, is focused on collaborating with the country on counterterrorism efforts, peacekeeping, and economic growth. Yet for the partnerships to be effective, Ethiopia needs to be stable. And in light of the past two years’ sweeping protests, the question of stability is inextricably linked to Ethiopia’s harsh response to dissent and political opposition.
This resolution not only encourages the government to implement key reforms, but says that future US cooperation should be tied to Ethiopia’s “demonstrated commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.” Encouraging those reforms with measurable, specific, and transparent benchmarks in exchange for future cooperation is critical. It is also important that other countries follow the US Congress’ lead on tying support to tangible progress.