Ethiopia’s development initiatives are not violating rights: Ambassador Berhanu

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Addis Ababa, 11 July 2014 (WIC) - In a response to a piece published “Britain is supporting Dictatorship “on the Guardian newspaper, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to UK, Berhanu Kebede underlined that Ethiopia’s development initiatives are being undertaken without violation of rights of the people.

He said, the prime objectives being helping farmers increase their yields and provide them with social services, which can be better delivered in a community setting, Ethiopia's resettlement programs are being carried on a voluntary basis.

He explained that the “program has brought schools, healthcare, clean water and roads to hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians, as confirmed by the International Development Group operating in Ethiopia.”

Noting that minor problems were encountered during the early stages of the implementation process, Ambassador Berhanu, however, affirmed that these were squarely addressed at a later stage.

He said “Your piece harks back to the Ethiopia of 30 years ago, yet totally dismisses the manifest achievements made over the last 20 years or so.”

He added that “Ethiopia has become food self-sufficient at national level and its pro-poor development strategy has brought strong economic growth and millions of jobs.

Speaking about the achievements of Ethiopia’s development endeavors, Ambassador Berhanu said the resettlement program has played its part in Ethiopia’s achievement in being one of few developing countries that will achieve most, if not all, of the Millennium Development Goals.

Donors, UN organizations and civil societies confirm that the program has improved livelihoods and that human rights have been respected in the course of the program's implementation.

He said “Ethiopia remains one of the few developing countries that fully satisfy the value-for-money principle which underlies all British government development program funding.

He criticized advocacy groups such as Human Rights Watch as groups who are engaged in fault-finding missions.  He winded his remark with appeal to the Guardian not to be part of a campaign to tarnish the image of a country that is engaged in a protracted but ultimately successful struggle to eradicate poverty. (MoFA)