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Press Statement
Robert Wood, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 8, 2009


New Ethiopian Law Restricts NGO Activities

The United States is concerned that the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law) passed this week by the Ethiopian Parliament appears to restrict civil society activities and international partners’ ability to support Ethiopia’s own development efforts.

We recognize the importance of effective oversight of civil society organizations to ensure accountability, efficiency, transparency, and a clear set of operating procedures for NGOs. However, we are concerned this law may restrict U.S. government assistance to Ethiopia, particularly on promoting democracy and good governance, civic and human rights, conflict resolution, and advocacy for society’s most vulnerable groups -- areas the Ethiopian government has defined as critical for development.

2009/023


Released on January 8, 2009

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