On Monday, April 2nd, the Ethiopian parliament will assemble to confirm Abiy Ahmed as the new Prime Minister.
Human rights organisation, Amnesty International, viewed this as a opportunity to press the future leader to focus on the nation’s growing human rights crisis. The move comes after Ahmed was voted chairman of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front Party (EPRDF).
According to Africa News, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, has been urging Ethiopia’s incoming Prime Minister to take “urgent measures to address the human rights crisis in Ethiopia, through concrete and genuine reforms”.
In just under two years, Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has declared a state of emergency which has implemented strict limitations on civilians’ rights and freedoms.
The declaration of the country’s most recent state of emergency on 16th February this year resulted in the deaths of 12 civilians at the hands of Ethiopian armed forces.
The killings, which occurred in the Southwestern town of Moyale, were later revealed to be the consequence of a “mistaken intelligence report”.
Less than a month after they were released, 12 political prisoners were re-arrested; including an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience, Eskinder Nega. A further 19 people, which included Ethiopian academics, were also arrested.
Shetty demands that Abiy Ahmed’s government release all political prisoners and reform the growing list of oppressive laws; citing the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Proclamation, and Anti-Terrorism Proclamation as those being in need of reform.Africa, International Human Rights / Humanitarian Law