Wednesday, February 20, 2008

An Urgent Call for Action from the International Community (Petition)

Please download the attached file, collect signatures for the petition and send it to concerned organisations like UNHCR, ICRC, Amnesty International and other human rights and humanitarian organisations! Galatoomaa!

Ethiopian government blows up two cafés full of Oromo refugees and burns 250 Oromo refugees’ residences in Somalia

An urgent call for action from the international community

On February 5, 2008, at about 8:00 pm, Ethiopian government soldiers blew up two cafés in Puntaland’s Bosasso city of Somalia and killed 65 Oromo refugees and injured 100 people. The Oromo refugees were watching videos in Oromo language at the time. Both cafés, owned and operated by Oromos, were the regular meeting and socialising palaces for Oromo refugees. The Ethiopian government mercenary group first threw two grenades into the cafés and opened fire on and killed those who had survived the deadly bomb blasts. The killers then transported the bodies of the dead away from the site of the blast in two convoys to conceal the tragedy. In addition to the scores killed, residences of 250 Oromo refugees were set on fire with all their property. Some survivors of the attack were denied hospitalisation and were beaten and chased away.

The TPLF is a minority ethnic political group that controls the current Ethiopian government. In a bid to maintain its autocratic control of governance of Ethiopia, the TPLF continues to suppress political freedom of its citizens, particularly of the Oromos.

Oromos who escape brutal political persecution by the government flee to the neighbouring countries such as Somalia and Kenya to seek refuge. In the past, such refugees had been accorded protection by the local UNHCR personnel and the host country. New circumstances have presently changed this dramatically for Oromo refugees particularly in Somalia: for example, the Ethiopian government has been bolstered militarily by Western aid causing it to have little regard for international instruments such as the UN Conventions on Human Rightsthe Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Convention Against Torture, and among others; the Convention Against Genocide – both within and outside its borders. The government of Ethiopia has resultantly added a disturbing dimension to its practice of ‘Zero Tolerance’ of political dissidence; it is engaged in a systematic plan to hunt and kill Oromo political refugees in their country of refuge. In November 2007, for example, security forces loyal to the TPLF-led government of Ethiopia killed 10 Oromo refugees and carried out a failed kidnap attempt on 4 journalists in Nairobi, Kenya. The 10 Oromo refugees that were killed were university students that fled persecution from their native country Ethiopia to Kenya. The February 5 murder of the defenceless Oromo refugees in Somalia symbolises a growing act of terrorism planned, orchestrated and executed by the Ethiopian government against the Oromo people.

The international community should not turn a blind eye to this barbaric act. Behind all organised terrorist actions is a trail of finances, some diverted, and others deliberate. In the case of the terrorist actions perpetrated by the Ethiopian government against the defenceless Oromo refugees in Somalia, the trail of money points to the well-meaning economic aid and military assistance given to the country by the Western nations. As the primary force for the promotion of democracy and human rights in developing countries, and as nations whose well-meaning economic assistance has been diverted by the Ethiopian government for terrorist activities against defenceless refugees, the responsibility by the Western nations to intervene in the case of the mass murder committed by the Ethiopian government against defenceless Oromo refugees is double fold.


“By its statute, the Office of the High Commissioner is entrusted, interalia, with the task of promoting international instruments for the protection of refugees, and supervising their application. Under the Convention and Protocol, contracting States undertake to cooperate with the Office of UNHCR in the exercise of its functions and, in particular, to facilitate its specific duty of supervising the application of the provisions of these instruments.”

Quite evidently, in the case of Oromo refugees in Somalia, the Office of the UNHCR has failed to “… exercise its functions and, in particular, to facilitate its specific duty of supervising the application of the provisions of the Refugee Convention.

Clause IV.D of the Convention, further states that:

THE CONFERENCE, CONSIDERING that many persons still leave their country of origin for reasons of persecution and are entitled to special protection on account of their position, RECOMMENDS that Governments continue to receive refugees in their territories and that they act in concert in a true spirit of international cooperation in order that these refugees may find asylum and the possibility of resettlement.”

The Government of Somalia failed to provide the Oromo refugees “… a true spirit of international cooperation” that the refugees were entitled to from the host country. Instead, some of its security personnel the government of Somalia cooperated with the Ethiopian government mercenaries in helping with the logistics that the mercenaries needed to murder the defenseless refugees.


We, the undersigned, call upon the following international organizations to:

  1. take urgent action to investigate and to bring to account the perpetrators of the mass murder of Oromo refugees on February 5, 2008, in Puntaland’s Bosasso city of Somalia

  1. provide urgent medical care to the 100 Oromo refugees that were injured by the bomb blasts of the cafés carried out by the Ethiopian government, and to;

  1. provide effective protection, and where appropriate, resettlement, to the remaining Oromo refugees in Somalia.

International organizations we are sending this petition to:

  1. The good office of the Secretary General of The United Nations, H. E. Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General, The United Nations New York. NY 10017

2. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Case Posatale 2500

CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt


3. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

19 Avenue de la Paix

CH 1202 Geneva



Head of delegation: Mr. Dominique BUFF



Head of delegation: Mr. Geoffrey LOANE

· E-Mail:

Head of delegation: Mr. Pascal HUNDT

Mob: (++254) 722 51 81 42

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

HRLHA Urgent Action: An Appeal to the President of Djibouti


Appeal To: The President of Djibouti

February 18,2008

His Excelency Ismail Omar Guelleh

President, The Republic of Djibouti

Po Box 185

Tel. (253) 35 39 95

Fax- (253) 35 39 40


Your Excellency,

Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa(HRLHA) recieved from its informants in Djibouti a report that your Government’s security forces have arbitrarly arrested four very young Ethiopian refugees on Feburuary 01, 2008 in violation of international treaties to which, we believe, Djibouti is a signatory. All four refugees were picked up and taken to the Lagad Detention Center by the Djibouti scurity force on their way to the refugee camp from school, which they have been attending. The school was set up by Catholic church of Djibouti particulary to help children of the refugees in Djibouti.

It was very saddening to hear that they were tortured while they were in the detention centre; and that they are going to be deported to Ethiopia. We have confirmed from our reporters that,until their deportation date arrived, these teenagers who could be addressed as children, were forced to do very heavy labor in a very harsh situation on a construction site for 12hrs every day.

The names of the four youths abducted and subjected to the hard child labour are:

  1. Kadir Hasan Ahmed, age 17, male
  2. Fatih Mohamed Ali, age 16, male
  3. Abdul Aziz Ahmed Hajii muhamed, age 17, male and
  4. Muhamed Abdoo Ahmed, age 17, male.

The Ethiopian Government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens who were involuntarily returned to the country. The government of Ethiopia routinely imprisons such persons. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuse committed against individuals in Ethiopian prisons and other places of detention. Under Article 33 (1) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (189 U.N.T.S. 150), to which Djibouti is a party, “[n]o contracting state shall expel or forcibly return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his . . . political opinion.” This obligation, which is also a principle of customary international law, applies to both asylum seekers and refugees, as affirmed by UNHCR’s Executive Committee and the United Nations General Assembly

By deporting the four Youths, the Djibouti government will be breaching its obligations under international treaties and customary law.

    • Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) adopted by the UN General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989 and entered into force on 2 September 1990, Djibouti has an obligation not to expose under-age children to heavy child labour.
    • Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185) to which Djibouti acceded in 2002, Djibouti has an obligation not to return a person to a place where they face torture or ill-treatment. Article 3 of the Convention against Torture provides:

      1. No state party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds to believe that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.

We strongly urge the Government of Djibouti to respect the international treaties and obligations it has signed..


Two young refugees, Umar Aliye 16, and Abdulfattah Abdulattif, who were abducted by the Djibouti police from the steet on their way from the school to their refugee camp, who were also forced to do hard child labour in hard situation on constration sites, were deported to Ethiopia in November 2007 and their whereabouts is unknown( HRLHA press release No 4 November 2007).

HRLHA urges the Djibouti Government to revise its policies and procedures so as to ensure compliance with the international conventions and declarations on refugees’ rights and protection; and release these four refugees from prison.

The HRLHA is a non-political organization which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. It works on defending fundamental human rights including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It also works on raising the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and that of others. It encourages the observances as well as due processes of law. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.


Garoma Wakessa
Executive Director
Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa


Embassy of the Republic of Djibouti

(High Comission) Consulate to Canada

3525 Durocher street, Apt. 91 Montereal Quebec H2X 2E7

Phone (+1 – 514) 2888297

Fax (+1 – 514) 2888297

Email –

Monday, February 18, 2008

Urgent Appeal by OMRHO e.V concerning imprisonment of Oromo political refugees in Sudan

To all international communities

Urgent appeal letter

The Oromo Human rights and Relief Organisation (OMRHO e.V) received information that the Sudan government imprisoned the Oromo political refugees at a place called Dabaq which is located in the north of Khartoum and preparing to hand them over to the Ethiopian government. Among the Oromo refugees who are imprisoned at Dabaq north of Khartoum are:

  1. Adunya Shifarraw
  2. Harun Idris
  3. Mhamed Nadoo
  4. Abdalla Suleman
  5. Ibrahim Youssouf (marqos Gobana)
  6. Shantam Atalay
  7. Abamalka (Adam) Bisil
  8. Milkessa Hailu
  9. Teshome and there other refugees whose names did not reach OMRHO e.V.

Such action is against the international law that the Sudan government is obliged to respect. To hand over refugees to the government who persecuted them is morally wrong and it is against humanity. Some of theses refugees were imprisoned in Ethiopia at Zway prison without trial for more than six years and were released. They escaped from Ethiopia and lived for many years in the Sudan to save their lives. OMRHO e.V. is very much concerned for the lives of these refugees and we apply for urgent action to save them from being deported to Ethiopia.

Rev. Benti Ujulu

OMRHO e.V. Chairperson



Saturday, February 16, 2008

HRLHA Press Release No9

February 2008

Mass Murder in Bossaso (Puntland, Somalia)

65 Oromo refugees murdered and more than 100 others injured

65 Oromo refugees from Ethiopia were killed and more than 100 others were seriously injured when two grenades were thrown at two different hotels owned by two Oromo refugees, Melaku and Jamal Arsii, in port town of Bossaso in Puntland, Somalia. The victims were watching a video game produced in Oromo Language by the time the attack took place on the 5th of February, 2008.

According to HRLHA informants in the area, the deadly attack was planned and executed jointly by security forces form Ethiopia and Puntland. A three-member mercenary group organized in Ethiopia was sent out to neighbouring countries were refugees from Ethiopia are believed to have been staying to take such actions against suspected members of opposition political organizations. Relatives and family members of the victims in particular give the following proofs to substantiate their claims:

1. One day prior to the attack in Bossaso, houses of Oromo refugees living in Borama and Buro towns of Puntland were searched by the joint Ethio-Puntland security agents.

2. 30 seconds before the happening of the attack, the power was turned off from its source and the whole town remained in absolute darkness; domestic and international telephone networks were disconnected.

3. The town of Bossaso was fully surrounded by heavily armed security forces and all roads leading into and out of the town were blocked.

4. After the attack took place, the bodies of the victims were immediately loaded onto two trucks and taken to unknown places.

5. The vehicle of the Ministry of Interior of Puntland was identified at the place of the attack.

The names of the injured Oromo refugees are:

1.Abrahim Siraj Abrahim 28,born inRobe/Arsi

2. Abdusalam Mustaffa 28,born in Baroda/Hrarge

3. Abdala Kamal Tuse 20, Sude/Arsi

4. Siraj Kadir Mohamed 20,Arsi

5. Abdul Fatah Abubakar 18, Arsi,

6. Suleyman Ahmed,

7. Mohamed Usmael Kasim 18,Machara/Hararge

8. Mohamed Usmael Aliyu 20, Wallo

9 Jamal Mohamed Saali,

10. Ali Mohamed Bashir

11. Fadluu Haji Abdoo 20,Arsi

12. Amin Hussen Abdulqadir

13. Mohamed Aloo

14. Nagawo Abdoo Alliyyi

15. Ture Aman Abdo

16. Mohamed Yasin Ibro

17. Abdujabar Mohamed Abdo 24 Jaju/Arsi

18. Umar Taka

19. AliyyiiAhmed Musa

20. Gidana Muse Dade

21. Umar Aadam Umar raya 23, wallo

22. Jamal Mohamed Ulula 53

23. Mohamed Amin Kadir 22, Robe/Bale

24. Mustafa Salii Abdalla 23,Baddanno/Hararge

25. Abdiugafar Abdulahi Jabran 18, Wakkite Burka/Shwa

26. Abdulle Biluu Ahmed 19, Shirka/Arsi

27. Ziyaad Ibrahim Hassan30,Galamso/Hararge

28. Ahmed Bakar Birka

29. Obsaa Aman Sheeko

30. Abdo kalifa

31. Nagash Mohamed Idris

32. Mohamed Said 21, Marti Abomsa/Arsi

33. Mohamed Gazali Sh. Aman

34. Arabu Hussen Abdurahman

35.Nura Abdurahman Sheka

36. Muhaddin Kamal Aman

37 Mohamed Amade Ulume

38. Umar Mahamud Umare

39. Aliyyi Mohamed Aliyyi 20, Wallo

40. Xahir Hussen Abdilkariim25, Bale

41. Ahmed Mahamud Kalil, Wallo

42. Hassan Umar Duqaa 20, Wallo,

43. Qasim Kadir 22, Lole/Arsi

44. Abdiltif Shubbe Mohamed 42 Bale

45. Redwan Kadir23, Jaju/Arsi

46. Daud Kadir Hussen 20, Jaju/Arsi

47. Abdulmajid Abiti Mohamed 22, Jaju/Arsi

48. Husseen Jara Sulte

49. Umar Ahmed Tarafa, Wallo

50. Abama Nyalata Abit

51. Mohamed Dhere

52. Abdallaa Ahmed Malu ,Sambate/Wallo

53. Nagahu Abdi Ali 38 Robe?Arsi

54. Usmael Hasso Sh Aadam, Machitu/Arsi

55. Alamu Bayana

56. Mohamed Bile Ahmed Yusuf

57.Wandwoson Baqalaa

58. Sulayman Ma’alim Warsame

59. Melaku (hotel owner); and the names of more than 40 victims who are in critical condition were not included

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa/HRLHA believes that such kinds of mass murders were pre-planed and well organized. HRLHA also believes that defenseless civilians who have already fled their home lands seeking for safety and security should get a full protection in countries where they are staying; be it temporarily or permanently. It strongly condemns such barbarous act committed against defenseless refugees. Also, HRLHA is highly concerned about the safety and security of those refugees currently living in Puntland and other neighboring countries.

HRLHA urges other international human rights agencies to join hands with it to condemn these illegal and inhuman acts committed in Bossasso, Puntland against defenseless refugees. HRLHA also requests governments of the west and other international organization to interfere so that the safety and security of the refugees in Puntland and other neighboring countries in the Horn would be secured. In the mean time, HRLHA demands that the barbarous act committed against defenseless refugees be investigated.

The HRLHA is a non-political organization which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa.

HRLHA is aimed at defending fundamental human rights including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It has also aimed at raising the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and that of others. It has intended to work on the observances as well as due processes of law. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Human Rights Watch World Report 2008: Ethiopia


Events of 2007

The Ethiopian government’s human rights record remains poor, both within the country and in neighboring Somalia, where since early 2007 thousands of Ethiopian troops have been fighting an insurgency alongside the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

Government forces committed serious human rights violations, including rape, torture, and village burnings, during a campaign against Ethiopian rebels in eastern Somali Region (Region 5). Abuses also took place in other parts of the country, notably in Oromia State where local officials carried out mass arrests, extra-judicial killings and economic sanctions.

In March and April 2007 in Mogadishu, Somalia, the Ethiopian military used heavy artillery and rockets indiscriminately, in violation of international humanitarian law, killing hundreds of civilians and displacing up to 400,000 people, as they fought an escalating insurgency.

In Addis Ababa, the government pardoned and released dozens of opposition leaders and journalists detained since the post-election crackdown in 2005. However, the press remains hobbled and local human rights organizations operate with great difficulty.

Abuses in Somali and Oromia States
In June, the Ethiopian military launched a major offensive in Somali region, the eastern third of the country inhabited by ethnic Somalis. The offensive was a response to increasing attacks by the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a longstanding armed opposition movement demanding self determination for the region. In April the ONLF attacked an oil exploration site killing nine Chinese oil workers, 50 armed guards, and 28 nearby villagers; the group was also allegedly responsible for two bombings in May that indiscriminately killed 17 people, mostly civilians, and wounded dozens in Dhagabur and Jigjiga, the state capital.

In the five zones affected by the conflict, the Ethiopian military retaliated by razing entire villages, carrying out public executions, raping and harassing women and girls, arbitrarily arresting, torturing and sometimes killing suspects in military custody; and forcing thousands to flee their homes. They also imposed a commercial blockade on the affected region and confiscated livestock—the main asset in this largely pastoralist region—exacerbating food shortages.

In July, the government expelled the International Committee of the Red Cross and restricted access to the affected region by other international humanitarian agencies. Restrictions on humanitarian agencies were slightly eased in September and October, when the government permitted the UN to conduct an assessment and open regional offices in the affected area.

In Oromia, Ethiopia’s most populous state, government authorities have used the fact of a long-standing insurgency by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) to imprison, harass, and physically abuse critics, including school children. Victims are informally accused of supporting the OLF, an outlawed rebel group, but supporters of the Oromo National Congress (ONC) and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM), registered opposition political parties, suffer similar treatment. In early January, more than thirty students were arrested and at least one, a tenth-grader, died as a result of police beatings in Dembi Dollo, western Oromia. Other students were severely injured and hospitalized. Also in January, local police and militia members in Ghimbi shot two high school students dead, one as he and others were walking peacefully along, the other as he covered the body of the first with his own in order to protect him from further harm. In March security officials allegedly executed 19 men and a 14-year-old girl near Mieso in northeastern Oromia. Starting in August, federal and state security forces arrested well over 200 people in western Oromia, including three members of the executive committee of the Nekemte chapter of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council and OFDM members, on suspicion of links to the OLF. Some, including the EHRCO officials, were released under court order after the police failed to provide evidence against them but most were still detained as of early November. At least 25 were being held in defiance of court orders to release them.

Farmers in Oromia who fail to support the governing political party are denied fertilizer and other agricultural aids over which the government exercises monopoly control.

Abuses Relating to the Conflict in Somalia
Thousands of Ethiopian troops were deployed in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia in late 2006 as part of the military campaign to oust the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) and install the Transitional Federal Government. In March and April 2007, the Ethiopian military indiscriminately bombarded large residential areas of Mogadishu with mortar shells, artillery, and “Katyusha” rockets, killing hundreds of people and causing up to 400,000 people to flee the city. Ethiopian forces made no apparent effort to distinguish between civilian and insurgent targets, and they shelled and occupied several key hospitals located in the frontline areas. (See Somalia chapter)

In collaboration with TFG forces, Ethiopian troops detained and sometimes beat hundreds of men in mass arrests in Mogadishu in June and July. Dozens of suspected ICU supporters who fled Mogadishu in December 2006 were detained by Ethiopian forces in Somalia or by Kenyan officials at the border, and rendered to Ethiopia in January and February, where they were held in incommunicado detention for months of interrogations, by US security agents, among others. At least 40 of the detainees were released in April and May—including more than a dozen women and children under the age of fifteen—but scores of others have disappeared.

Suppression of Free Expression and Attacks on Civil Society
An unknown number of people remain imprisoned without trial after election-related violence following events in June and November 2005, although in July 2007 the government finally released the leadership of the leading opposition party, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and six newspaper publishers.

In proceedings that became popularly known as “the treason trial,” the government had accused the CUD leadership, journalists and others of using unlawful means to change the “constitutional order,” obstruct the exercise of constitutional powers, promote armed rebellion, and impair “the defensive power of the state,” as well as treason and genocide. In April 2007, the treason and genocide charges were dismissed, but some defendants were convicted of the other charges. The court also ordered three newspapers to be closed. Shortly after sentencing, most of the defendants were released and all charges against them were dropped after they submitted letters accepting some responsibility for the 2005 unrest. However, two civil society representatives, Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie, who acted as mediators between the EPRDF and the CUD after the 2005 elections, refused to sign letters of regret and insisted on judicial exoneration. Despite flimsy government evidence against them, they remained incarcerated as of early December 2007, two years after their arrest, because of repeated court recesses.

Following the 2005 elections, the government has sharply reversed a liberalizing trend and subjected independent newspapers and their editors, publishers, and reporters to renewed harassment, intimidation, and criminal charges. Three journalists acquitted during the treason trial fled the country after their release from jail, citing multiple death threats from government security agents. The government and its allies own all electronic media. It blocks access to internet sites critical of its policies. In October, the government began jamming Deutsche Welle and Voice of America Amharic and Oromomifa language broadcasts, the principal source of news for the rural population.

The government has long tried unsuccessfully to outlaw the Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA), the largest independent membership organization in the country. ETA’s president, released from six years in prison in 2002, was tried in absentia in the treason trial; the chair of ETA’s Addis Ababa branch was acquitted. Four ETA members were arrested in December 26, 2006, severely beaten, and otherwise tortured to coerce confessions that they were members of an armed opposition group, the Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front. Released in March 2007, they were rearrested in late May and early June.

Lack of Judicial Independence
The judicial system remains unable to assert independence in prominent cases. In the treason trial, for example, the trial judges showed little concern for defendants’ procedural and constitutional rights and ignored claims of serious mistreatment by prison authorities. With exceptions, courts generally allow police protracted periods to investigate for evidence that might support the charges brought by prosecutors; in the meantime, defendants remain jailed without an opportunity for release on bail.

In January 2007 a court convicted Mengistu Haile Mariam of genocide in absentia, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Mengistu, the leader of the former military government, lives in Zimbabwe under the protection of the Zimbabwe government. Several hundred former officials remain jailed awaiting trial, sixteen years after Mengistu’s overthrow.

Mistreatment of Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society
The staff of Ethiopia’s only nationwide human rights organization, EHRCO, is regularly subjected to government harassment and intimidation. One investigator who fled the country in 2005 was charged in absentia in the treason trial. Three members of the Nekemte executive committee were arrested and imprisoned for fifteen days (see above.)

The Oromo focused Human Rights League, allowed to register in 2005 after years of litigation, remains inactive. Leaders of the traditional Oromo self help organization Mecha Tulama, arrested in 2004, were released without trial in early 2007.

Key International Actors
Ethiopia remains deadlocked over a boundary dispute with Eritrea dating from the 1998-2000 war. The war in Somalia is another source of tension between the two countries.

International criticism of the Ethiopian government’s human rights performance is muted. The United States and major European donor states view the government as an important ally in an unstable region. Ethiopia remains the largest beneficiary of US military and development aid in sub Saharan Africa. The US provided logistical and possibly financial support for Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia in December 2006 and has not pressured Ethiopia to accede to the Eritrea boundary decision.

Ethiopia is also among the top African recipients of European Union aid. After the 2005 election violence, the UK suspended direct budget support to Ethiopia, but has since increased its aid to an annual GBP 130 million in 2007-2008.

China is an increasingly important trading partner. Chinese-Ethiopian trade has increased 17 percent since 2006, to US$660 million, and Chinese investment has reached $345 million from just $10 million four years ago, according to official figures.

In August 2007 the government expelled two thirds of the diplomatic staff of Norway, apparently for criticizing its human rights record and pressing too aggressively for acceptance of the Eritrea boundary commission decision.

Human Rights Watch