Ethiopia is an important development and regional security partner for the United States; however it continues to be a source of concern regarding human rights violations. Ethiopian elections in 2005 included violence, manipulation and the detention of opposition members and were deemed neither free nor fair in 2010. Additionally, Ethiopian government forces used violence against minority ethnic group protests in 2015, and the government has imposed a state of emergency which restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression, including blocking Internet access.
H.Res. 128 recognizes Ethiopia’s efforts to promote regional peace and security, and its partnership with the U.S. to combat terrorism, promote economic growth, and address health challenges. The resolution also expresses concern about human rights abuses and contracting democratic space; and condemns excessive use of force by Ethiopian security forces; calls on the Government of Ethiopia to lift the state of emergency, end the use of excessive force, release wrongfully imprisoned protestors, and improve transparency; urges protectors and opposition groups to use peaceful discussion and avoid incitement; and calls on the State Department and USAID to cooperate and strengthen ties with Ethiopia, condemn human rights abuses, and promote accountability.