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H.Res. 128 (115th): Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.

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.

Last updated Sep 26, 2017. Source: Republican Policy Committee

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 10, 2018.

Recognizes: (1) Ethiopia's efforts to promote regional peace and security; and (2) the importance of the U.S.-Ethiopian partnership in combatting terrorism, promoting economic growth, and addressing global health challenges.

Condemns the use of excessive force by Ethiopian security forces and notes the reports of widespread human rights abuses.

Commends the recent peaceful and voluntary transfer of authority from Prime Minister Hailemariam to Prime Minister Abiy.

Calls on the government of Ethiopia to: (1) lift the state of emergency and end the use of excessive force by the security forces; (2) release all activists, journalists, and opposition figures who have been imprisoned for exercising their constitutional rights; and (3) allow for an independent human rights examination by a U.N.-appointed rapporteur.

Calls on the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development to strengthen ties with Ethiopia and engage in a cooperative effort to advance democracy, human rights, economic growth, and security.