Ethiopia working on solving political discontent – Minister tells E.U. rep

by Zelalem

Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister has reiterated that the government was actively working to address issues of political discontent in the country.

Workneh Gebeyehu told the European Union’s new envoy to the country, Johan Borgstam, that Addis Ababa was undertaking pertinent reforms and meaningful, all inclusive political dialogue in that respect.

“He (Gebeyehu) also briefly mentioned the activities of his government in facilitating and undertaking pertinent reforms and meaningful and all inclusive public dialogue towards addressing few discontents in some parts of the country,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on its Facebook wall.

Borgstam paid a visit to Gebeyehu since resumption of his role as Ambassador of the E.U. delegation to Ethiopia. The two also spoke about peace efforts in neighbouring South Sudan where a failed peace deal has forced the country back into armed conflict.

The E.U. have been at the forefront of calls for Ethiopia to undertake political reforms in the face of rising political discontent. Its foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, is on record to have made this call in 2016.

Members of the E.U. parliament have in several resolutions and motions called for Ethiopia to open up its political space and to respect the rights of protesters. The release of top opposition cheif, Merera Gudina has also come up strongly. Gudina is facing multiple criminal charges.

Anti-government protests that started in late 2015 through much of 2016 led to the imposition of a state of emergency. The six-month measure eventually run for ten months and was only lifted in August 2017.

Ethiopia, seen as a powerful western all, is one of only five countries in the world with which the E.U. has signed a strategic partnership. According to the ambassador, that epitomized the importance the E.U. attached on the relations with the Horn of Africa country.

Photo credit: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia

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