The Current

Canada's response to political turmoil in Ethiopia

Researcher says Canadian government should be more vocal in its criticism of the Ethiopian crackdown.
People mourn the death of Dinka Chala who was shot dead by the Ethiopian forces the day earlier, in the Yubdo village, on Dec. 17, 2015. Dinka Chala was accused of protesting, but his family says he was not involved. Tensions have been riding high between the population of Oromia and the Ethiopian government. (Zacharias Abubeker/AFP/Getty Images)

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Canada remains one of the largest humanitarian aid contributors to Ethiopia. According to the Canadian government, our bilateral relationship is designed, in part, to facilitate democracy and human rights in a country that has known decades of war, dictatorship, and starvation. However, some question Canada's relationship to the country as Ethiopian politics take a dark turn.

Mersen Chala, brother of Dinka Chala, who was killed by Ethiopian forces a day earlier, shows the picture of his brother after the funeral ceremony, in Yubdo Village, about 100 km from Addis Ababa in the Oromia region, on December 17, 2015. Dinka Chala was accused of protesting. (Zacharias Abubeker/AFP/Getty Images)

Human Rights Watch researcher Felix Horne predicts hundreds of protesters have been killed, and hundreds of thousands have been detained, in a recent government crackdown — but it's impossible to get concrete numbers with rampant media censorship in Ethiopia.

On The Current, Horne describes what we know about the political situation in the country, and explains why Canada needs to be more vocal if it's to effect change in Ethiopia.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.