Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force, General Seare Mekonnen, met with Chris Smith, United States’ congressman who led a delegation to Ethiopia this week to “to talk about the country’s reform efforts since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office” as reported by the Voice of America.
The meeting took place at the office of Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense force.
Ethiopian government media outlets report indicates that the discussion mainly focused on regional security issues.
Ethiopia’s defense chief of staff told Chris Smith and members of his delegates that Ethiopia is diligently carrying out peacekeeping missions in South Sudan, in Darfur and Somalia and the security situation is improved, as per a report by Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).
He also talked about the terrorist group in Somali, Al-Shabab. “Al-Shabab is weakening in its military posture,” perhaps implying that it no longer has the capability to impose security threat in the region.
Ethiopia and the United States have been partners in the fight against terrorism in the Horn of Africa for nearly two decades now and the United States has been one of the major donors to Ethiopia.
Chris Smith has been an advocate for human rights in Ethiopia. He initiated H.R. 128, a bill that called for an end for human rights abuses in Ethiopia and a reform measures relevant for promoting democracy ad peace in the country, which was passed in the House of Representatives this year.
Chris Smith is quoted as saying that he is “cautiously optimistic” about the ongoing change in Ethiopia. His delegation also met with prime minister Abiy Ahmed.