Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs concerning the disturbances in Ethiopia following the election

The Government has followed developments in Ethiopia following the general election on 15 May with deep concern. There is a risk that the violence, the deaths and the large number of arrests that have been made in connection with demonstrations, particularly in the capital, Addis Abeba, will undermine the progress that conducting the elections nonetheless achieved.

Sweden has expressed its concern to the Ethiopian government about the actions of the authorities and calls on the government at this critical stage to ensure that respect for human rights is maintained. We have also summoned the Ethiopian ambassador to convey this message. An ongoing and close dialogue with representatives of the Ethiopian government and others involved is being conducted directly through our embassy in Ethiopia and through the EU, aimed at preventing continued disturbances in the country and to solve the domestic crisis that has arisen.

Sweden has actively contributed to joint action by the EU in response to the violence in Ethiopia and to prevent further disturbances. As chair of the development assistance donor coalition, we have acted jointly with other major development assistance donors, including the UN, to increase the potential for democratic elections in Ethiopia.

Sweden is engaged in development cooperation with Ethiopia. It aims at fighting poverty in one of the world's poorest countries and to promote democratic development. Observance of human rights by the Ethiopian government is a central starting point when Sweden considers the extent of continued development cooperation with Ethiopia. In view of the uncertain political situation in the country, Sida is currently waiting before entering into new project agreements with Ethiopia.