Building a Stronger Democracy in Ethiopia
The USA,25 June 2021
Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
Democracy flourishes when institutions of governance are inclusive, transparent, accountable, and responsive to its people. With that immutable fact in mind, the United States commends those Ethiopians who exercised their right to vote on June 21.
Elections, however, are not in and of themselves a sufficient marker of democracy or genuine political reform. The June 21 elections in Ethiopia took place against a backdrop of grave instability, including increasing inter-ethnic and inter-communal conflicts, and an electoral process that was not free or fair for all Ethiopians. The boycott of the elections by opposition parties, the detention of vocal political leaders, and the ongoing violence in multiple parts of the country underscore the need to launch an inclusive effort to build a national consensus on the governance of Ethiopia that preserves the sovereignty and unity of the state and strengthens the constitutional order.
In this period following the election, it is critical that Ethiopians come together to confront growing divisions. We urge politicians and community leaders to reject violence and refrain from inciting others to violence. The United States stands ready to assist Ethiopians to advance post-election dialogue, resolution of conflicts, and national reconciliation in Ethiopia. The ongoing conflict, violence, and likely famine declaration in Tigray demand urgent action, including a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Ethiopian territory, the transparent investigation of atrocities, and unhindered humanitarian access to populations in need.
We look forward to a continued partnership with the Ethiopian people and to supporting efforts to promote inclusive political participation that moves the country forward on a path to democracy and national unity.