Ethiopia complains over US envoy’s political prisoner jibe

US Ambassador in Ethiopia Ervin Massinga. Picture: X (Formerly Twitter)

US Ambassador in Ethiopia Ervin Massinga. Picture: X (Formerly Twitter)

Published May 17, 2024


Ethopia filed a complaint on Thursday against US Ambassador Ervin Massinga following his remarks about political prisoners.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement that Massinga’s speech on policy and human rights contained “allegations” and “unsolicited advice”, and that it would work with the Embassy to correct the “errors and inconsistencies” in his statement.

“The statement is ill advised and contains uniformed assertions,” the ministry wrote.

In his speech, Massinga said detaining critics would not resolve Ethiopia’s outstanding issues and that “the political dialogue the Ethiopians need could be helped by releasing key political figures”.

He urged the government and rebel groups to agree to dialogue and that “the country has far more to gain through peace than on the battlefield”.

Federal forces in Ethiopia are engaging in fighting with several rebel groups in its regions, as well as ethnic-related insurgencies, which have led to deaths and the displacement of people.

Human rights groups have accused federal soldiers of rights abuses in regions like Amhara, where rebel groups are based.

A prominent opposition figure was gunned down last month after his release from prison, and a state-appointed rights group has called for an investigation into his death.

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