The Ethiopian Dialogue Forum (EDF) is a civil society organization established by a diverse group of Ethiopian intellectuals, people of experience and activists who love their country. The aim of the organization is to support the development of Ethiopia politically, socially, technologically and economically by:
a) conducting research and enabling thoughtful discussions and disseminating viable solutions to the myriad of problems the country faces; and,
b) to assist in peace and reconciliation efforts by promoting the expansion of political and individual rights of all Ethiopians.
EDF has observed the emergence of a country-wide civil resistance and unrest over the past several months. The intensity of this resistance to gross violation of human rights is in Oromia and Amhara, the two largest population centers of the country. Sadly, these continuing conflicts have resulted in the loss of countless lives, the imprisonment and disappearances of thousands. This suffocating environment has threatened the stability, peace, security and nascent development of the country.
According to reputable international media, local social media and the categorical acknowledgement of the Ethiopian government itself, both the suddenness and surge of these conflicts resulted in the unnecessary extrajudicial killing of innocent civilians by government forces. Having considered the gravity of the issue carefully and expressing its shared grief with the Ethiopian people, EDF calls on the government of Ethiopia to:
1. Cease its killing and violence against individuals who are demanding their human rights.
2. Respect the legal rights of all individuals and groups to express their fundamental human and civil rights.
3. Release all political prisoners and journalists who are being detained throughout the country without preconditions.
4. Begin immediately the process of consultation, negotiation and reconciliation with opposition political parties, both abroad and at home, in order to ensure a fair and equitable long-term outcome to the current crisis.
5. EDF strongly supports the call by the UN High Commissioner Commissioner for Human Rights to dispatch international observers to investigate the killing of peaceful protesters by the Ethiopian security forces. The government of Ethiopia has an obligation to allow these independent observers without any condition or restriction. Therefore, we urge the Ethiopian government to immediately allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate the crisis.
6. EDF calls on all friendly countries, the UN, AU, EU and particularly the United States and Great Britain to condemn the government extrajudicial killings and massive arrest in Ethiopia, and put diplomatic pressure on the Ethiopian government to enter into a peaceful dialogue with its citizens and opposition parties in order to establish a transitional period for democratic changes that would lead to lasting peace, promote security and ensure inclusive economic development.
Peace, Development and Prosperity to Ethiopia and All Ethiopians!
Ethiopian Dialogue Forum
The Ethiopian Dialogue Forum (EDF), 9900 Greenbelt RD. E#343 Lanham, MD 20706 Tel. +1-202-641-5517