Ethiopia Street Fighting Response: Europe’s vice-president on Ethiopia

Image copyright AFP Image caption One in five Ethiopians now lives in a slum European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič has called for “a major effort” to end the growing influence of African gangs in…

Ethiopia Street Fighting Response: Europe's vice-president on Ethiopia

Image copyright AFP Image caption One in five Ethiopians now lives in a slum

European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič has called for “a major effort” to end the growing influence of African gangs in Europe.

Mr Šefčovič said he welcomed the end of street fighting in north-eastern Ethiopia and praised an initiative by the country’s Ministry of Public Health to stop street fighting in urban areas.

But he called on the nation’s politicians to stop doing political face-saving.

“The authorities need to find real solutions, with stronger action to end corruption, badly governed environments and electoral fraud,” he said.

The plan requires local government to assess the extent of the problem, a tactic he said had helped to curb fighting in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

“We should be careful not to sacrifice security for political gain,” he said.

Ethiopia is known for its sustained economic growth, but also suffers from frequent outbreaks of violent conflict involving minority groups.

Violence from these ethnic conflicts often spreads across the country and often affects tourists.

Ethiopia has a population of 100 million people – the third largest in Africa behind Nigeria and South Africa. It is heavily dependent on donors and receives millions of tourists each year, including the Oxford World Science Festival this weekend.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, an Ethiopian of mixed European and East African descent, has made radical changes to the government since he took office last year.

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