State of emergency is militarized response: rights researcher



Felix Horne

ESAT News (October 18, 2016)

A senior researcher with Human Rights Watch says the state of emergency declared by the TPLF regime in Ethiopia meant a militarized response that will have a counterproductive effect in the long term stability of Ethiopia.

Felix Horne, senior researcher for the Horn of Africa with HRW also said that by declaring the state of emergency, the regime showed that it is not willing to take steps for change. “It is a message that they are not willing to open up the political space. They are not willing to address many of the grievance. It is a very worrying development,” Horne said in an exclusive interview with ESAT.

Most of the restrictions in the state of emergency, Horne said, were already in place in Ethiopia well before the declaration of the restrictive decree. “Limitations on social media and diaspora media like watching ESAT and arbitrary detentions are things already been in place for much of the year,” he said.

The rights expert, who gave his testimony at the European Parliament last week said “quiet diplomacy” by the western powers had contributed to the crises in Ethiopia today. He said the focus by the EU and US solely on their strategic partnership and reluctance to criticize the regime leads to the crises to get even more worse.

Asked what the purpose of his testimony was at the EU parliament, Horne said his goal was to raise awareness on what’s going on in Ethiopia and encourage the EU to take much stronger action.

“The goal is to give them an understanding on what’s going on in Ethiopia. How the current state of emergency is not going to deal with long term grievances and that the EU needs to exert pressure on the Ethiopian regime regarding the the long term grievances of the people  to ensure long term stability.”