Video credit : Voice of America
In a response to question by Voice of America, State Department spokes person,John Kirby, stated that the United States is concerned about tension in Ethiopia.
President Mulatu Teshome’s speech in the Ethiopian parliament on October 10,2016 is noted, said the spokes person, and that his government encourages administration in Ethiopia to act decisively in terms of implementing proposals Mulatu Teshome announced in the areas of reforming electoral laws, addressing land rights claims, political and other rights claims protesters clamored for.
United States government seeks clarity as to how the Ethiopian government intends to implement state of emergency which was declared over the weekend. Particular matters of “concern” , based on John Kirby’s statement, seem to be detention without a warrant, restrictions on free speech, prohibitions on public gathering and imposition of curfew.
“Even if these measures are intended to restore order”added John “silencing independent voices and interfering with the rights of Ethiopians is a self-defeating tactic that exacerbates rather than addresses the grievances”
Perspective in Ethiopian opposition quarter demonstrated caution in measuring terminologies used for descriptions of the protest and its causes. For example, some tend to think that “grievance” is understatement in some circumstances.The protest in the Amhara region is described as “resistance”, as opposed to protest, to what they call is genocidal intents of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front -the dominant party in the ruling coalition.
United States and the regime in Ethiopia have been decades of clients to each other.United States provided it with support – economic, military and political- since the regime came to power some twenty fives years ago.
Although the state of emergency is declared last week, in effect most parts of Ethiopia have been under state of emergency like situation for more that six months now. In Oromo region of Ethiopia defense force has been deployed at least for six months and there are reports that army officers interfere in administrative affairs. Similar situation exists in Amhara region of Ethiopia.