Britain Funds Human Rights Abusers in Ethiopia

The crimes against humanity taking place in the Ogaden is widely recorded, the current crisis taking place in this region is one of the worst in the world

The Liyuu (Special) Police is particularly similar to the Janjaweed militia of Darfur
The Liyuu (Special) Police is particularly similar to the Janjaweed militia of Darfur

By The Guardian,

The UK government is providing financial aid to human rights abusers in Ethiopia through funding training paramilitaries, who perpetrate summary killings, rape and torture in the impoverished African country, local media reported.

Through its foreign aid budget, the UK government provides financial support to an Ethiopian government security force known as the “special police” as part of its “peace and development programme”, which would cost up to £15 million in five years, The Guardian reported. 

The Department for International Development warned in a leaked document of the “reputational risks” of working with organisations that are “frequently cited in human rights violation allegations“, according to the report.

The Ethiopian government’s counter-insurgency campaign in Ogaden, a troubled region largely populated by ethnic Somalis is being enforced by the 14,000-strong special police.

This is while that the police forces is repeatedly accused by the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) of serious human rights abuses.

Claire Beston, Amnesty International’s Ethiopia researcher, said it was highly concerning that Britain was planning to work with the paramilitary force.

There is no doubt that the special police have become a significant source of fear in the region,” she said.


Exclusive: Documents seen by the Guardian detail £13 – £15m government funding for ‘special police’ in Ogaden region  [click to read the full report]