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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ethiopian Elections: U.S. State Department Statement

The United States condemns the violence and unnecessary use of excessive force in the continuing election-related violence in Ethiopia. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those who have died. Reports of numerous arrests and detentions have increased tensions. We urge the government to respect the rule of law, international principles of human rights, and due process with regard to those arrested or detained. The United States looks to the opposition parties to abide by the rule of law, to respect their commitment to end the violence, and to ask their followers to remain calm.

The United States commends the signing of the June 10 Joint Declaration by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF). The parties should abide by their commitment to the agreement without condition. We expect the parties to resolve electoral complaints through the established legal electoral mechanisms.

The United States commends the Ethiopian people for their peaceful and democratic expression of political will on May 15. The elections have immutably changed Ethiopia’s political landscape and broadened that country’s democratic horizon. We stand ready to assist Ethiopia as it meets these new democratic challenges and looks forward to engaging all elements of civil society during this important period in Ethiopia’s history. We are working closely with the European Union, African Union, United Nations, and others in this effort.

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