U.S Committed to Support Ethiopia's Growing Prosperity: Secretary Kerry

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Addis Ababa, 2 May 2014 (WIC) - United States Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. remains committed in supporting Ethiopia's development endeavors and growing prosperity.   

While briefing journalists here today, the Secretary said the U.S. government provides hundreds of millions of dollars to support the development activities in Ethiopia and will continue to do this.   

Ethiopia is on the move in terms of its economy and in other ways, Kerry remarked.

"All you have to do is drive through Addis. ... and you see the economic activity and you see the numbers of cranes and construction that has been taking place and that provides a snapshot of the country’s rapid development."

Expressing the development of the country, the Secretary said "It is no wonder that Ethiopia is one of the eight African economies and is one of the ten fastest growing economies in the world."   

His government is always ready to support these efforts of the country towards prosperity.   

The U.S. believes that strong commercial ties and development is critical to having shared prosperity, opportunity to the broad population and stability, in return provides the capacity that Ethiopia be able to lead some of the initiatives that build stability in the region, he explained.   

He commended the Ethiopian government for the work it has done along with the AU in addressing some of the continent’s most difficult problems, particularly building lasting peace in Somalia and South Sudan.   

He acknowledged that Ethiopia has helped to control towns which were under the Al-Shabaab’s administration and it is working diligently to promote reconciliation in Somalia.   

In addition Ethiopia is also taking a leadership role in the efforts of IGAD to resolve the killing and the impending potential of the enormous famine and devastation in South Sudan.   

The Secretary thanked Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn for the service of Ethiopian troops in Abiye and Darfur and for working "so hard" to facilitate the dialogue between the government and "rebel" forces. That is something the U.S. will continue to work, he affirmed.   

The violence against civilians in both sides in South Sudan is reminder of the 'unbelievable capacity for cruelty' when sectarianism and violence of one tribe or race against another is unleashed, Kerry remarked.   

He urged both President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Rick Machar to condemn the attacks that are taking place against civilians and condemn perpetrators of this violence.   

He underscored that "...a kind of personal violence, a personal anger between two leaders should never be permitted to take an entire nation in the direction of South Sudan’s currently spiraling downwards."   

Kerry said those who are responsible for the targeted killings based on ethnicity or nationality need to be brought to justice.   

According to the Secretary, the U.S. and the foreign ministers of Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya, who he had discussed yesterday with the situation, are considering a sanction against the responsible parties. "... we are actively considering sanctions against those who committee human rights violations and obstruct humanitarian assistance."   

They agreed that sanctions should be on the table as one of the tools to try end the impunity and begin to create accountability in South Sudan, according to him.   

Kerry said he shares the warnings of the UN about a potential of famine in South Sudan. He said "Leadership is needed." Those leaders need to do more to facilitate the work humanitarian workers to provide humanitarian assistance which was part of the agreement back in January. "That assistance should be able to get in."   

“We all have a responsibility... we need to try to prevent the widespread famine that conceivably flow from the violence that is taking place there now,” Kerry underscored.   

The discussion with the AU officials helped to deepen the U.S.-AU partnership in the efforts to tackle some of the most challenging conflicts in the continent.   

The U.S. will continue to support the AU mission in Somalia as well as its efforts to counter the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), when the LRA related deaths have declined by 75 percent. (ENA)