The Elders welcome Ethiopia’s political reforms and urge full respect for rule of law.

A delegation of Elders led by Mary Robinson, chair and former President of Ireland, held meetings with both the Prime Minister and President of Ethiopia during their biannual board meeting in Addis Ababa  – discussing national and regional security and development issues.

The Elders in attendance, including Juan Manuel Santos and Lakhdar Brahimi, urged all political actors and civil society in the country to work in good faith to build a strong democracy, as the Prime Minister has pledged. Stressing that these efforts must strengthen social cohesion, underpinned by the rule of law and respect for the human rights of all people living within Ethiopia’s borders.

 

The Elders, Ethiopia

The Elders also recognised the critical role Ethiopia can play in helping to resolve regional conflicts and tensions, including in neighbouring Sudan and South Sudan, as well as how best the country can deal with its high population of refugees and internally displaced people.

Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said: “It has been a privilege to visit Ethiopia at this time of remarkable change. We have greatly valued our conversations with Prime Minister Abiy and President Zehde, and admire their vision of drawing on Ethiopia’s rich history to guide its united future. We urge all political stakeholders to work together to develop a national settlement that respects the rights of all communities.”

As part of the visit, some Elders travelled to a refugee camp in Gambella in western Ethiopia to meet refugees from South Sudan  – they commended Ethiopia’s new Refugee Law which offers more opportunities for work and integration.


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