Ethiopia denies stifling opposition

2010-10-21 11:34

Addis Ababa - Ethiopia rejected charges by Human Rights Watch that it was using donor aid to suppress political dissent, in a statement issued on Thursday.

Ethiopia "categorically rejects that it politicises the use of development aid in any shape or form," said the foreign ministry statement.

The New York-based watchdog had said in a report on Tuesday the Ethiopian government was denying development aid both to farmers who did not support the regime and families of opposition members.

Rejecting the allegation, the ministry statement said that a probe by a group of donors in January had found that the aid money was being used as intended.

"The allegations made by the Human Rights Watch simply do not reflect reality," the statement added.

"Indeed this would appear to be an attempt by Human Rights Watch to gratuitously blackmail the international community as part of its ongoing vendetta against the government of Ethiopia."

In its report, the rights group said donors were turning a blind eye to the "repression" in the Horn of Africa country.

"Donors who finance the Ethiopian state need to wake up to the fact that some of their aid is contributing to human rights abuses," the group said.