The Advocacy Network for Africa (AdNA) is a non-partisan network of U.S.-based organizations and individuals who maintain significant focus on Africa or U.S.-Africa relations in their work. AdNA’s work is rooted in a commitment to Pan-Africanism.
The members of the Advocacy Network for Africa (AdNA) recognize the multifaceted challenges Ethiopia is faced with at this juncture including regional security concerns with neighboring Eritrea, Sudan and also Egypt. The members of AdNA also recognize that Ethiopia is currently going through a transition period.
We are concerned, however, with current developments in the country that need the attention of the government of Ethiopia, the African Union Commission’s Peace and Security Council, the UN Security Council, the United States and the International Community.
Our concerns over the deteriorating human rights and security situation in Ethiopia include: closing civic space; the continued operation of state of emergency structures in certain regions; the rising levels of intercommunal and ethnic based violence; political assassinations; human rights abuses against unarmed civilians; displacements due to conflicts; massacres, and the widespread reports of rape and other forms of gender-based violence in places where conflict has taken place.
AdNA is particularly alarmed over reports of serious human rights violations, including possible war crimes or crimes against humanity, committed during the ongoing conflict between the federal government and allied militia, government forces of Eritrea, and the regional government of Tigray and the ensuing humanitarian crisis which has exacerbated the existing crisis of internally displaced persons.
We call for an end to violence and for the African Union Commission’s Peace and Security Council, the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, and the international community to act to protect lives and the human rights of all peoples by doing the following:
- Urge all parties and peoples in Ethiopia to respect human dignity, to honor international and regional human rights standards as well as humanitarian law.
- Secure immediate and unrestricted access to address the humanitarian crisis in Tigray where over 2 million people are threatened with famine.
- Establish independent impartial investigations to look into ongoing human rights abuses committed during the Tigrayan conflict and in other parts of Ethiopia, particularly in Oromia, Benishangul-Gumuz, Amhara, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) regional states, including the plights of minorities in these regions. Also support efforts by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to ensure accountability.
- In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing high levels of incarceration, support humanitarian organizations in their efforts to address the multi-faceted needs of the 2 million and more Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and the incarcerated population throughout the country.
- Demand that all foreign troops leave Ethiopia, and resolve regional issues amicably.
- Support democratic practice by pressing the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to end the crackdown on opposition groups and the closure of civic space; and demand that all opposition groups in Ethiopia commit themselves to non-violence.
- Promote freedom of expression, assembly and association including by creating an enabling environment for CSOs to advocate on human rights. Provide transportation access, lift the Command Post structures that continue operation in many areas and that have been linked to systematic and egregious human rights violations with impunity, and in consultation with local communities develop alternative security structures.
- Call on the Ethiopian government to ensure transparency and access to credible information on the situation in Tigray, Oromia, Benishangul-Gumuz, and other parts of the country to avoid misinformation and disinformation regarding the situation by immediately restoring full internet and telecommunication services.
- Call on the government of Ethiopia to ensure full due process rights for all those arrested as well as the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.
- Call on the government of Ethiopia to ensure all conditions conducive to free, fair and peaceful elections, ending the disenfranchisement of significant portions of the population by addressing the lack of sufficient preparations and the conditions of insecurity.
- Call for an immediate inclusive national dialogue, with all political parties and stakeholders.
If the current widespread security concerns in Ethiopia go unaddressed, the consequences shall be grave both for the Ethiopian people and for the Horn of Africa. We call on the government of Ethiopia to work with regional and international institutions to take immediate action to address the desperate humanitarian and political crises that are unfolding in different parts of the country.