Addis Ababa, October 14, 2022 (Walta) – Ethiopia has warned Ireland that it may end its diplomatic relation with the country if it does not change course.
Ethiopian government blames Ireland for “hostility and attacks against its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
A letter signed by Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonen, and addressed to Irish Foreign Affairs Minister and Defense Minister, Simon Coveney, on October 11, 2022 details the historic and cordial relation Ethiopia has with Ireland, democratic changes taking place in Ethiopia, TPLF instigated conflict in the North and Ireland’s ‘acrimonious encounters’ with Ethiopia.
According to Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, TPLF [Tigray People Liberation Front] panicked when the dawn of democracy came to Ethiopia in 2018. Since then, it has held hostage Ethiopians in the Tigray region.
“It [TPLF] has mobilized a fighting force, including conscripting children in its armed units. As you would know, the TPLF then attacked the Ethiopian northern command on 3 November 2020 with exceptional barbarity. It thus triggered the conflict,” reads the letter obtained by Walta.
Though the Federal Government has taken a number of confidence building measures to resolve the conflict in the northern part of the country, the TPLF has been responding with another round of attack.
Even recently after the Government of Ethiopia has announced its readiness to engage in peace talk ‘anytime, anywhere without precondition’, the TPLF has launched a third round incursion in to Amhara and Afar regions.
“Ethiopian Government accepted the African Union’s invitation to participate in the peace talks. …We are also committed to peacefully resolving the conflict. It is also committed to investigating allegations of violations of human rights and humanitarian law during the conflict and ensuring accountability. We have devised a comprehensive transitional justice plan for discussion with stakeholders. We are also committed to recording the truth and starting a process of healing and reconciliation. The National Dialogue Commission has started the inclusive national dialogue process. We take these measures to lay strong foundations for the future of our country and to prevent conflicts in the future.” it adds.
According to the ministry, Ireland could have supported these forward-looking measures and political and economic reforms in Ethiopia. Instead, Ireland has continued attacking Ethiopia using its membership in the UN Security Council, the European Union, and elsewhere.
The letter claims Ethiopia’s plea for respect to its national interest was not headed by Ireland.
“Ethiopia’s plea to Ireland to reduce hostility and attacks against its sovereignty and territorial integrity has not been heeded. To our utter surprise, EU groups visiting Ethiopia privately advise us that we need to mend fences with Ireland if we desire to normalize relations with the European Union,” the letter reads.
“We agree we need to restore our historical ties with Ireland. It is a worthy goal on its own. We did not know Ireland could also stand in the way of Ethiopia’s efforts to normalize relations with the EU. Ireland just needed to stop its hostile acts against Ethiopia,” it adds.
According to the Ministry, Ethiopia has also devised a re-engagement strategy to help us take a fresh perspective with all critics and partners alike. Thus far, it has not worked in reducing tension with Ireland.
“As you may recall the meetings with your good self on the margins of the UNGA don’t seem to have produced a better result. On the contrary, Ireland appears to be intent on emboldening the TPLF and calling for coercive actions against Ethiopia using its membership in the UNSC. The Ministry, therefore, appeals to the Government of Ireland to refrain from further hostility against Ethiopia,” says the letter signed by Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonen.
“We can constructively engage in state-to-state relations as per international law. As a measure of last resort, we can find an opportunity to deliberate whether there is a mutual will to pursue our diplomatic ties,” the letter adds.
“I eagerly waits for Ireland’s response, based on which the Government can conclude whether the countries have reason enough to continue what is left of their relations based on the principles of mutual respect and sovereign equality of nations,” concludes the letter.