• Press Release

Amnesty USA Urges Secretary Blinken to Center his Visit to Ethiopia on Human Rights

March 10, 2023

In response to United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s announced trip to Ethiopia, Kate Hixon, Africa Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA, said:

“Secretary Blinken’s trip to Ethiopia comes at a critical time in the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) and when the Ethiopian government is actively mobilizing support to terminate the mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE). United States and international community engagement remains vital, and it is positive to see the Secretary prioritizing Ethiopia.”

“That being said, Secretary Blinken’s trip will miss a crucial opportunity if he does not put human rights at the heart of his conversation with Prime Minister Abiy. The United States must make it clear that the Government of Ethiopia must provide access throughout the country to humanitarian actors and human rights monitors. While the humanitarian aspect has improved since the Cessation of Hostilities, access for human rights monitoring is still blocked. Furthermore, Secretary Blinken must put justice and accountability for crimes committed by all parties to the conflict at the center of his engagement with Prime Minister Abiy. Failure to do so will send a signal to perpetrators everywhere that the US will not stand up for justice. ”

Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for campaigns in East Africa, Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes regions, added: “Given the failure of the Government of Ethiopia to cooperate with the ICHREE, it is critical that Secretary Blinken make clear US support for the Commission and an expectation that the Government of Ethiopia allow them unfettered access to Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia Regions and other areas. The United States should not let down victims of gross human rights abuses in Ethiopia, and Secretary Blinken should use this trip as a venue to call for independent investigation, prosecution and judicial process.”


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