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Supporting police reform during Ethiopia’s political transition


Following the appointment of PM Abiy Ahmed Ali in April 2018, the Ethiopian government began a critical political transition process and initiated important reforms aimed at improving security sector institutions. Despite some of the important outcomes achieved, significant challenges remain, and the overall security situation is characterised as highly fragile. Potential drivers of conflict include growing ethnic tensions, a surge in local militia influence, frequent deadly protests, increasing tensions within the federalist system of governance, and greater polarisation of the political spectrum in society.

The Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP) are expected to play a pivotal role in maintaining peace in this environment, as long as the institution addresses remaining reform gaps in command, internal oversight and public order command, and as long as its core values and principles are translated into operational and tactical decision making. This includes improving the effectiveness of investigations, strengthening coordination amongst policing agencies, and improving the proportionality and operational strategies for public order interventions. We are proud to support Ethiopia’s police reforms during the country's political transition.

Objectives & DCAF approach
DCAF aims to contribute to sustainable improvements to EFP transparency, accountability and effectiveness at this critical time of political transition, whilst laying the foundations for longer term development of an EFP capable of responding to the population’s needs on the basis of consistent democratic policing standards across Ethiopia:

To achieve this, DCAF:

  • supports the definition of a strategy, decision-making models, and reform concept for the EFP
  • assists to translate core EFP values of professionalism, integrity, diversity, and human rights into improved investigations and public order
  • helps to promote professionalism and accountability of the police

Some of the activities delivered include:

  • exploratory workshop on a police public complaints mechanism in Ethiopia
  • training and workshop for CSO on police oversight
  • training to senior police Commanders on managing public assemblies during elections: rules of engagement, principles, accountability and human rights

We are grateful for the support of the European Union.