Deutsche Welle quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on Obama’s visits to Kenya and Ethiopia, where fighting terror and economic growth will be high on the agenda:
Human rights groups criticize the timing of Obama’s visit to Ethiopia. It comes shortly after elections in May in which the ruling party won every seat in the National Assembly. The opposition complained of harassment. Human rights groups have called the ruling EPRDF party one of the most repressive regimes in Africa. However, Peter Pham of the Washington-based Atlantic Council says the critics are not being fair. “The same people would not criticize the president for visiting China,” despite its human rights record, he said.
Peter Pham says it is time for practical politics. “The primary purpose of the US president’s visit is engagement in American interests and the United States has considerable interests in Ethiopia.”