To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the scale of human rights abuses against the Oromo people in Ethiopia; and what representations he has made to his Ethiopian counterpart on that issue.
Answered by James Duddridge, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
The UK Government is deeply concerned about the handling of protests in Oromia and the reported number of deaths, including many students. I raised these concerns with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros at the African Union Summit in January, stressing the importance of exercising restraint and addressing the root causes of the protests. The Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening) also raised the issue with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on 21 January at the World Economic Forum. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission are currently undertaking an investigation into the allegations, and our Ambassador has stressed the need for transparency and that any members of the security forces who are found to have used excessive force be held to account.
Answered on: 18 April 2016