By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegaye12
Addis Abeba, January 6, 2021- After months of providing elusive answers for questions related to the Ethio Sudan border clash, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Dina Mufti announced that Ethiopia plans to engage Sudan and other ‘disgruntled’ countries in peace talks in the year 2022.
At today’s biweekly press briefing, the Ambassador went on to criticize what he described as ‘some forces’ and well as ‘irresponsible western media’, he did not mention by name for ‘exaggerated’ reports of the border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan, portraying it as though the two countries were to enter into war.” He said,” The Ethiopian government devised a plan to engage Sudan in peace talks over the border dispute and the issue will be handled in accordance with peace negotiation and law.”
He described the year 2021 as ‘very challenging’ saying, “Ethiopia endured very difficult challenges both internally and externally. The war in the northern part of Ethiopia has been portrayed wrongly by the international community to exert pressure on our country using humanitarian crises as a pretext.” He continued, “The international community seems to have disregarded the efforts the Ethiopian government has done to address humanitarian crises in the northern part of Ethiopia in relation to the war. They were supposed to condemn the atrocities TPLF inflicted in Afar and Amhara regions.”
The Ambassador also discussed the instability in the neighboring states, Sudan and Somalia, reiterating Ethiopia’s stance to refrain from intervening in the internal affairs of the two countries. ”The instabilities in Sudan and Somalia have barrage effects over Ethiopia. Both countries are our brothers and we strongly advise them to handle their internal affairs themselves,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson also mentioned that President Sahle-Work Zewde received letters of credentials from newly appointed ambassadors of various countries across the world. “The President addressed the current situation of the ongoing conflict and the ambassadors expressed their commitment to work with Ethiopia,” he said.
When asked whether the Great Homecoming Challenge did not involve Ethiopians that reside in the Middle East, Ambassador Dina stated that the call was for all Ethiopians across the world. “The conditions of Ethiopians who reside in this part of the world are deteriorating from time to time. In fact, there have been relentless pressure on Ethiopia from these countries lately and the situation should thoroughly be investigated,” Dina stated. After admitting that the government, regardless of any circumstances, has a responsibility to protect its citizens, the ambassador confessed that the government failed to fully engage to help our stranded citizens in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries due to limited resources and security issues the country is facing. He pledged to resume repatriating Ethiopian nationals as soon as possible.
Ambassador Dina rejected the recent HRW report which revealed the detention of ethnic Tigrayans who fled to Saudi Arabia during the northern conflict upon their return to Ethiopia. He argues that Ethiopia was receiving the said returnees until the process was ‘lately interrupted due to some security issues. “The Ethiopian government has not detained nor targeted anyone based on ethnicity,” the spokesperson insisted.
The spokesperson also noted that the U.S. special envoy to the horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, would arrive in Addis Abeba today but underlined that he did not have any idea what agenda the special envoy had. “Feltman is coming to discuss peace talks but we shall see what agenda he has,” the spokesperson said.
Before winding up the press briefing, the spokesperson called the travel warning issued by the U.S. Embassy in Addis Abeba ‘funny’. ”Ethiopia has won the war with TPLF and it is currently regaining its stability. It is so funny that the embassy still continues issuing travel warnings.” AS