Ethiopian PM hopes to ‘demolish the wall’ during trip to U.S.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will travel to the United States at the end of this month to meet members of the Ethiopian diaspora  who are currently living in the U.S., the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The trip, which is to be held under the theme ‘demolishing the wall, let‘s build the bridge’ will have meetings in Washington, DC on July 28 and Los Angeles on July 29, 2018.

The foreign ministry explained that Abiy’s visit is aimed at boosting the involvement of all Ethiopians living abroad in the ongoing reforms, development, and democratisation in their country of birth.

The Ministry invited all Ethiopians to participate in the meeting, regardless of their political ideology, religion, and ethnic background.

As part of ongoing reforms, cabinet recently approved the Amnesty Law that grants amnesty for individuals and groups, either under investigation or convicted on treason, crimes against the constitutional order and armed struggle.

Abiy has championed several economic, political and diplomatic reforms including the liberalisation of the economy, release of political prisoners and expressing willingness to end a bitter border disbute with Eritrea that has kept the two countries at loggerheads for over two decades.

The initiative which is to be approved by parliament this week is part of efforts to engage with Ethiopians that fled the country and have been living in exile for fear of political persecution by the previous administration.

Abiy, who took office in April this year, has called on all opposition groups to return home and engage in peaceful struggles, pledging to work with all to unite and transform the country.

Several prominent figures including former senior Derg official Ambassador Dr Kassa Kebede, journalist and Oromo activist Mohammed Ademo, leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) have heeded the call and returned to Ethiopia after several years of exile.