Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ethiopia backs Kenya's contested security law

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and President Uhuru Kenyatta

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has supported the controversial security law signed last week by Kenya's President Uhuru.
"Kenya has taken a proper stand by approving the security law to fight terrorism and safeguard its citizens," said Mr Hailemariam at a press conference in his office in Addis Ababa Monday.
"Kenya has taken a responsible and legally correct position to keep the peace and stability of the country," he said, criticising the international rights groups opposed to the law.

He further indicated that Ethiopia was also accused of violating human rights by passing the anti-terrorist law to fight Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, which was linked to Al-Shabaab.
The Premier noted that Ethiopia would continue fighting Al-Shabaab in Somalia with other African countries, under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
"If there is a request from the AU for additional peacekeeping forces, we are ready to deploy. The most important thing is not increasing the troops; it is integration and leadership of the forces on the ground.
"We hope Al- Shabaab will not be a threat," he said, pointing out that Ethiopian troops under the Amisom were in control of 60 per cent of Somalia territory.
Human Rights Watch has criticised the Kenya law as a threat to civil liberties guaranteed in the country's constitution.
The US, one of the major anti-terrorist allies of East African countries, expressed hope that the new security law would not jeopardise Kenyans' human rights.