Ethiopia’s leader said he would bury his enemy. His spokeswoman doesn’t think it was incitement to violence

Amnesty warns Ethiopia’s constitution still contains incitement to violence and prison terms, adding threat to peace talks

Ethiopia’s leader said he would bury his enemy. His spokeswoman doesn’t think it was incitement to violence

Ethiopia’s government issued a threat on Wednesday against Eritrea, stepping up efforts to ensure anti-Amnesty groups operate in the Horn of Africa nation amid an uneasy peace process with the long-standing enemy.

Critics of the two-year-old state of emergency denounced the timing of an indefinite ban on foreign reporters and activists who are active in human rights.

The Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, said in a live speech that he would seek the burial of Abyei in Sudan’s semi-autonomous region of South Kordofan. Eritrea’s border with South Kordofan is the site of a dispute between the two neighbours after a partition in 2005.

The response from a government spokesman suggested Abiy was moving on Abyei from a military perspective.

“Military actions stop at the open fields of a state. I don’t think that idea is incitement to violence,” said herhan Gebremichael. “Peace talks should be free of any system that meets the criteria of being a condition of going back to war.”

South Sudan’s leader warns Ethiopia of threat from ‘enemy’ Read more

Gebremichael referred to a letter written by the South Sudan president, Salva Kiir, in October 2018 saying Ethiopia threatens peace in Africa.

The Ethiopian constitution contains incitement to violence and prison terms for protests over land, policy and other issues that aim to unseat the government, according to an Amnesty International report.

“The state of emergency still protects some abuses that might have been unlawful. The government has not addressed the need to pass the UN’s security council resolution demanding the end of the state of emergency in Ethiopia,” said Abdi Farah, Amnesty’s regional researcher for east Africa.

Last week, campaigners said Ethiopia was home to five prisons with the highest levels of torture and other ill-treatment by security forces.

In response, the government said that “torture does not exist in the Ethiopian prisons”.

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