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September 13, 2016, Washington D.C.

The undersigned civil society organizations applaud U.S. Representatives Chris Smith, Keith Ellison and Mike Coffman for introducing the House Resolution entitled “Supporting human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.” The resolution, introduced today as companion legislation to S.Res.432, addresses the ongoing human rights abuses and political instability in Ethiopia. It condemns the killing and arbitrary arrest of protesters and calls on the Ethiopian government to conduct a full, credible and transparent investigation into the killing and excessive use of force against protesters in the Amhara and Oromia regions. It also urges the Ethiopian government to allow the UN to conduct an independent examination of the human rights situation in Ethiopia. The resolution calls on the U.S. Government to conduct a review of its security assistance to Ethiopia in light of recent developments and to develop immediately a comprehensive strategy to improve good governance in Ethiopia.

We believe that this resolution is a powerful call to action to promote national and international accountability and redress for the egregious human rights abuses perpetrated by Ethiopian government security forces during recent protests in the Amhara and Oromia regions. The resolution adds to efforts by Ethiopians in Ethiopia and around the world to bring about democratic reforms, inclusive governance, and respect for human rights in Ethiopia. By specifically instructing the Department of State and USAID to improve oversight and accountability of U.S. assistance to Ethiopia, the resolution highlights the obligation of donor countries to ensure that aid given to the government of Ethiopia is not used to suppress the legitimate demands of citizens for accountable government and equal representation at all levels of the political structure.

We express our support for this resolution and the intent behind it, which is to focus attention on helping the Ethiopian people and the Ethiopian government find a path forward out of the deepening human rights crisis. We encourage members of the House to support this resolution and urge members of the Senate to support S.Res.432, the companion resolution introduced by Senators Cardin and Rubio in April.

Africa Faith & Justice Network
Amnesty International USA
Association of Concerned Africa Scholars
Ethiopia Human Rights Project
Freedom House
Freedom Now
Human Rights Watch
Oromo Advocacy Alliance
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Solidarity Movement for New Ethiopia
Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition 

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