By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Ethiopian Civil Society Organization Council told Al Ain News that thirty-six civil society workers were killed starting from 2018. Chief Director of the Council, Henok Melese said that including the ones who were killed recently, there are thirty-six civil society workers who have been killed over the past five years.
Henok said that as the situation is very serious, the workers need special protection. “Workers who move far away from home and expose themselves to danger, need better support. They need to be protected. At times …witnessed harassment. We call for an end to these things,” he said.
Henok said that though the 2009 law of the Civil Society was amended and several organizations entered in to activates, the situation of peace in the country has become a stumbling block. It has become difficult to work by travelling around different parts of the country, Henok said. Over 4,000 member organizations embraced by the Council are working by paying sacrifice up to death.
Member organizations of Ethiopian Civil Society Council, which appreciate the amendment of the law made four years back, said that there “is a gap” in creating favorable working atmosphere.
“Favorable working atmosphere is needed. Probably from lack of awareness, the works of the Civil Society Organizations face obstacles. To address this, work should be done. In particular, in time of problems in a country and when there is no peace or in disruption of movement, their works will be restricted hugely,” Henok said.
The Director said that Civil Society Organizations has upgraded their roles since the era of Emperor Haile-Silassie. “In particular, contributions for peace, human rights, democracy and development of the organizations have been boosted. However, financial power, political and other situations have become obstacles,” Henok said.
He further said that there is a cross-eyed glance, from government officials, of works, roles and images of Civil Society Organizations in Ethiopia.
To address the problems, in this regard, an annual week of civil society organizations will be celebrated in May 2023 with an aim of upgrading collaboration and partnership and expansion of ecosystem.
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I don’t think there should be more than 10 Civil Organizations in Ethiopia. They should be allowed to have permit only at federal level to work in all parts of the nation. In my opinion they establish civil organizations only for personal benefit or unknowingly advance others agenda.