WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the recent violence in Ethiopia.

“We watch with concern the recent unrest and ethnic violence in Ethiopia following the June 29 murder of Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa, which has led to the death of over 200 people. We are also concerned by the internet shutdown across the country which is now in its tenth day. We hope to see steps taken to address the violence and underlying interethnic tensions in Ethiopia at this critical juncture in the country’s transition to democracy. Preserving the promise of Ethiopia's democratic transition and defusing insecurity, instability, and ethnic violence requires a renewed commitment by the prime minister and actors across the political spectrum to dialogue and political consensus based on non-violence. 

“We further encourage Ethiopia’s leaders to act as agents of stability in the broader region, and we support Ethiopia’s continued engagement with Egypt, Sudan, and the African Union to reach an agreement regarding the Nile River and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

“Ethiopia is a strategically important country at the crossroads of Africa and the Middle East. As one of Africa’s most populous countries, Ethiopia serves as an important security and trading partner for the United States. A peaceful and democratic Ethiopia is a critical component of a stable East Africa. We stand with the Ethiopian people at this historic time, and we remain committed to strengthening and deepening ties between our governments and our people."