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US ‘deeply concerned’ ahead of elections in Ethiopia | Ethiopian Stories

Washington says racial violence and the arrest of dissidents will cast doubt on the credibility of the vote.

The United States has raised concerns ahead of Ethiopia’s elections, saying that racial violence and the imprisonment of dissidents would cast doubt on the credibility of the vote.

The second most populous country in Africa is holding elections on June 21 when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office in 2018 by promising to step in against the old regime, is seeking a new job.

But the reputation of the Nobel Peace Prize winner has been tarnished by the start of the Tigray war, where the United Nations warned Friday that thousands of children would be killed. risk of starvation.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the environment in which the forthcoming elections take place,” State spokesman Ned Price said in a statement Friday.

“The arrest of opposition politicians, the persecution of independent journalists, political and local government actions and the many international conflicts between the Ethiopian people are a hindrance to elections and freedom and whether Ethiopians can be trusted,” he said.

“With the exception of the major electoral teams in these competitions for security reasons and their relocation is very difficult.”

Elections in Ethiopia are taking place after a double delay. Last year, election officials boycotted the election due to the coronavirus epidemic, and then delayed voting since June 5 due to domestic violence.

The United States, a former Ethiopian ally, has expressed anger over Abiy and ended the conflict in Tigray.

Fighting in Tigray began in November 2020 between government forces and the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The TPLF led a coalition that ruled Ethiopia for nearly 30 years until Abiy came to power following a series of street protests. Abiy also split the TPLF by making peace with the Eritrean enemies who had just arrived, and tensions erupted.

Although Abiy promised that troops in Tigray would be short-lived, about seven months later, fighting continued, reports of atrocities were increasing and reports of world leaders were warning of a disaster of compassion.

Violence has killed thousands of people and forced others to flee two million from their homes in the mountainous region.

In July last year, security forces arrested Jawar Mohammed, the country’s most vocal anti-extremist leader, following a series of deadly protests against the infamous singer Hachalu Hundessa in Addis Ababa.

In September, authorities filed a lawsuit Terrorism cases against Jawar and several freedom fighters. Jawar’s lawyers repeatedly insisted that he be detained for his political views and asked for his release.

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