To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help prevent an escalation of religious or belief-based violence in Ethiopia and the surrounding region.
24 November 2021
We are extremely concerned by reports of widespread human rights violations and abuses in Ethiopia committed by all sides to the conflict. The Foreign Secretary spoke to Deputy Prime Minister Demeke on 5 November. Our Ambassador in Addis Ababa spoke to Prime Minister Abiy on 28 October. I spoke at a Westminster Hall Debate on 3 November and highlighted the horrific scale and nature of human rights abuses against civilians as reported by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It is essential that all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses be held to account. All parties must implement the report's recommendations and ensure that victims have access to support. We have stressed the need for Ethiopia to safeguard its incredible diversity of faith and identity in order to uphold freedom of religion and belief. The Foreign Secretary, our Ambassador in Addis Ababa and I continue to raise human rights issues in our discussions with the Ethiopian Government and more broadly we have reminded all warring parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. I raised our concerns about ethnic profiling and detentions with Ethiopian State Minister Redwan on 18 November. Our priority is to ensure that Ethiopians, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and political affiliation, receive life-saving aid and that humanitarian access to areas affected by conflict and insecurity is restored.