WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding a stampede at a religious festival in Ethiopia:

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in Bishoftu during an annual thanksgiving gathering. Ethiopian security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse anti-government protesters, the latest in a string of troubling actions that has undermined civil liberties and repressed protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions. This is why I cosponsored legislation to support respect for human rights and inclusive governance in Ethiopia. Moving forward, I urge both the government and anti-government protesters to refrain from violence and engage in dialogue to deescalate what threatens to become a larger political crisis for the country.”