ADDIS ABABA – The European Union (EU) announced that it has donated nine million Euros to supplement efforts of Ethiopia’s government to combat the significant crop losses resulted from desert locusts upsurge in different parts of the country.

This was disclosed in a joint press conference EU Commission Vice President/High Representative for Foreign Affairs vand Security Policy, Josep Borrell and EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič held in a connection with the latter’s filed visit to the Somali state over the weekend.

Lenarčič stated that EU has also helped Ethiopia in disaster risk management, flood and drought adding that the donation showcases the union’s usual solidarity with the East African nation in difficult times.

He noted that the EU delegation met with Ethiopia’s high-level government officials including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Shalework Zewde and exchanged views on different issues of mutual importance. The delegation also visited internally displaced people who are sheltering in the Somali State and provided shelters, basic medicines and other items.

Noting that the Union has been partnering with the government of Ethiopia in the repatriation of those displaced people, the commissioner stressed that the repatriation should be taken place per the free will of the victims.

Borrell said on his part that EU’s delegation was briefed by PM Abiy that Ethiopia has undertaken broad-based reforms and meticulous preparation has been taking place to make the upcoming election credible among all parties.

During the discussion, the delegation expressed EU’s willingness to support Ethiopia to hold a peaceful and credible election and the Union’s intention to send electoral supervision mission per the request of the government of Ethiopia.

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He indicated that Ethiopia has faced similar challenges that any developing nation could encounter during political and economic transformation and the country’s objective reality should be taken in to consideration to evaluate government’s success in ensuring democracy and rule of law. “Ethiopia is a complex country due to deep diversity and we think that Abiy has realized the importance to nurture diversity thereby keeping the unity of the country and ensuring peace and stability.

As Lenarčič, the PM has undertaken far-reaching decisions in the democratizing the government and EU expects him to continue in that direction during and after the forthcoming General Election.

By the same token, Borrell pointed out that the government should give emphasis on the democratization of election process thereby building public trust in the outcomes of the vote.

Read the original article on Ethiopian Herald.

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