While acknowledging the integral role that this Council plays in holding governments to account for wilfully persecuting individuals and groups who speak truth to power, we would like to use this opportunity to celebrate the recent civil and political liberation ushered in by sustained protest movements in Ethiopia, while further encouraging the government of Ethiopia to ensure that this transformation is sustainable rather than fleeting, systemic rather than cosmetic.
For nearly a decade CIVICUS and its partners have stood before the Council urging it to address the devastatingly restrictive environment for civic space in Ethiopia. We warmly appreciate the determination of several governments including Ireland, Canada, Germany and Norway as well as a number of Special Procedure mandate holders who continued to voice their concerns about the unrelenting attacks on civic freedoms in Ethiopia.
Today, in large part due to the uncompromising and audacious resoluteness of protesters and human rights defenders, Ethiopia is on the precipice of emerging as country ruled by pluralism rather than authoritarianism.
However, this transformation will remain incomplete if the Government of Ethiopia does not take all necessary steps to ensure inclusive participation in policy making, ensure a free and safe environment in advance of upcoming elections, address long standing grievances especially pertaining to access to land, and hold to account all state officials responsible for grave right violations.
We urge all stakeholders, including state, civil society and UN agencies to endow this evolving transformation with the requisite support and resources.
Civicspace is rated as Repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor