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European Union condemns Ethiopia expelling two EU Diplomats

The European Union has condemned the Ethiopian Government for expelling two European Union diplomats. Ethiopia has accused the two of smuggling what it calls criminals into Kenya that are wanted by the government.

Anna Gomes is a member of the European Parliament, and was head of the EU election observation mission to Ethiopia last year during the country’s controversial elections.

While on a visit to Romania she told Voice of America reporter Cole Mallard that in addition to the expulsions an Ethiopian woman and legal advisor to the EU delegation in Addis Ababa, “has been arrested, and her life is in danger” and might be one of the people that the government calls criminals.

Gomes says Bakele “is actually accused of having supported people in spreading a calendar with photos of the jailed leaders – the elected parliamentarians who are in jail since one year ago, and many of them facing the death penalty.”

She says the Ethiopian government is calling these people criminals because the government is repressive despite all the rhetoric about being interested in democracy, good governance and human rights which she says is not the case: “We now see for all the actions, namely the massacres that have just been reported and the prisoners who are in jail – journalists, human rights defenders, development activists, and elected parliamentarians, that this government is not at all a credible or respectable government who cares for good governance and human rights, and that’s why they call all opposition people and all those who fight for human rights, criminals.”

Gomes says though she knows of the accusations, she doesn’t know if they are true. She says the Ethiopian government has provided no explanations to the commission on why these people have been expelled.