Ethiopia must give its youth a voice and also act on human rights, a United States envoy has told Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn.
Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations on Monday met with the premier as part of a three-nation tour of Africa. Ethiopia was the first stop of a tour that will see her visit South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
At the heart of the exchanges between the two leaders was regional peace and security given the key position that Ethiopia occupies in anti-terrorism fight in the restive Horn of Africa region.
Beyond issues of security, Haley disclosed that the talks also centered on human rights and the importance of Ethiopian youth being given a voice.
The country’s largest state of Oromia has seen renewed anti-government protests, similar sentiments in late 2015 through much of 2016 led to the imposition of a state of emergency. The six-month measure eventually lasted 10 months and was lifted in August 2017.
Despite being an economic giant in the East Africa region, the country is in the bad books of international rights groups that accuse Addis Ababa of being unnecessarily high-handed in dealing with protesters and political opponents.