UK – Britain spends millions on Ethiopian ‘special police’ linked to abuses

Ethiopian-policeMillions of pounds of Britain’s foreign aid budget are to be spent on training an Ethiopian paramilitary security force that stands accused of numerous human rights abuses and summary executions.

A government security force known as the “special police” operating in the eastern Ogaden region will be supported as part of a UK-funded “peace and development programme” lasting five years and costing up to £15 million.

A leaked Department for International Development document warns of the “reputational risks” of working with organisations that are “frequently cited in human rights violation allegations”, The Guardian reported.

Human Rights Watch said that the Liyu police has been implicated in serious abuses against civilians throughout the Somali region of Ethiopia

Amnesty International’s Ethiopia researcher, Claire Beston said it was highly concerning that the UK was planning to engage with the special police.

She said: “There have been repeated allegations against the Liyu police of extrajudicial killings, rape, torture and other violations including destruction of villages and there is no doubt that the special police have become a significant source of fear in the region.”

The full report on the Guardian website

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