Through its foreign aid budget, the UK government provides financial support to an Ethiopian government security force known as the “special police” as part of its “peace and development programme”, which would cost up to £15 million in five years, The Guardian reported.
The Department for International Development warned in a leaked document of the “reputational risks” of working with organisations that are “frequently cited in human rights violation allegations”, according to the report.
The Ethiopian government’s counter-insurgency campaign in Ogaden, a troubled region largely populated by ethnic Somalis is being enforced by the 14,000-strong special police.
This is while that the police forces is repeatedly accused by the campaign group Human Rights Watch of serious human rights abuses.
Claire Beston, Amnesty International’s Ethiopia researcher, said it was highly concerning that Britain was planning to work with the paramilitary force.
“There is no doubt that the special police have become a significant source of fear in the region,” she said.