In a statement issued this Wednesday, US State Department disclosed that “…US diplomats were denied accreditation as election observers and prohibited from formally observing Ethiopia’s electoral process.”
Noting absence of international observers, the only exception being African Union which fielded observers and whose observes gauged the election as “credible”, State Department expressed its “regret” that US diplomats did not take part as election observers during the May 24 general election in Ethiopia.
As well, the statement says that the United States “remains deeply concerned” about the state of civil society, Media, Opposition parties and Independent voices on grounds that they are, in the words of State Department, “restricted” and that opposition party observers were restricted from observing the election in some locations.
One of Ethiopia’s main opposition disclosed this week that two of its election observers were killed by ruling party forces in Southern Ethiopia and that the election was an “outright day light robbery” – which is more than mere restriction. In addition, political commentators,observers and human rights groups unequivocally condemned outright attack on human rights and the free press.
In a different statement issued on Thursday May 28,2015, the State Department congratulated “the people of Ethiopia” for celebrating May 28 what the State Department think is “national day.” Undoubtedly, the statement is a punch in the face of millions and millions of Ethiopians who associate the day as a day of the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front’s take over of power after the collapse of the military government under the leadership of colonel Mengistu Hailemariam. The day, for many, represents a transition from a military dictatorship to a different and even worse form of dictatorship under minority ethno-supremacists.
In the statement, the US hailed the ruling party for “economic growth and the fight against poverty” and pledged that the United States “continues to work with you [“Ethiopia”] to advance basic education, improve health and food security, and promote regional security in Somalia and South Sudan” probably an indication that the US use of the regime in Ethiopia for tasks in Somalia and , now in South Sudan, is not yet over. At the same time the statement “We are also committed to supporting democracy, human rights, and civil society in Ethiopia.”