UN rights chief sees ‘hope’ in Ethiopia visit under new PM

Ethiopian Prime Minister Receives UN Human Rights Chief

AP

JOHANNESBURG — The U.N. human rights chief says he has witnessed “tremendous hope but also anxiety” in Ethiopia on his latest visit less than a month after the country installed a new prime minister who has promised reforms.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein in a statement Thursday said he was able to visit the restive Oromia region at the heart of months of anti-government protests and meet privately with people recently released from detention.

Zeid said he heard calls to lift Ethiopia’s state of emergency, close more detention facilities and allow an “inclusive political dialogue” and that he conveyed such demands to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during a “rich discussion.”

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Zeid had issued a sharp statement after his previous visit in May, saying many of the protests had been violently suppressed by authorities.

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