Hosting 35th Assembly of AU Heads of States Proves Diplomatic Victory

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BY SOLOMON DIBABA

Despite the well orchestrated conspiracy, slanderous lies, misinformation and misrepresentation hurdled on the country, Ethiopia has successfully managed to host the 35th AU Ordinary Session of the Heads of States and Governments conducted here at the Africa Hall.

The convocation of the assembly ushered  an extraordinary opportunity for the country to acquire a diplomatic victory against both global and local forces who were working from dawn to dusk to either ban the assembly or change the venue as well as the headquarters of the AU to other location.

The conspiracy regarding the Assembly took the proliferation of COVID-19 in the region as a pretext and the misinformation on security and peace issues in and around Addis Ababa which has been falsely fabricated by some embassies of western countries which alleged that terrorist TPLF forces are at the gates of Addis Ababa and would soon triumphantly enter the city causing a total civil war which would put the lives of embassy staff members at risk.

 The US Embassy here issued travel advisory for more than 9 times urging US citizens to leave the country as soon as possible and that the embassy is ready to provide them with loans for travel expenses.

However, throughout the period in which the travel advisories were issued, western and African journalists and those who traveled to Ethiopia confirmed that the city was as peaceful as ever.

Several weeks prior to the assembly, in response to Prime Minister’s call for millions of Ethiopian to take part in the “Grand Home Coming Event” for Ethiopians and citizens of Ethiopian origin, hundreds and thousands of Ethiopians and citizens of Ethiopian origin came home in the most joyous and peaceful manner demonstrating their solidarity with their country and in lieu of shattering the false propaganda on the state of safety and security across the country.  Ethiopia turned the western conspiracy into a window of hope and an excellent opportunity for the visitors to observe the peaceful and secured environment in Ethiopia.

In this context, not only did Ethiopia gained a diplomatic victory but the situation provided an excellent occasion for the Ethiopians to visit their country and witness the unprecedented devastation that terrorist TPLF has inflicted on citizens, public and private property in Amhara and Tigray regions.

The Assembly of AU Heads of States and Governments created a situation in which the protracted propaganda and misinformation by western and TPLF media outlets on Ethiopia have been proved to be utterly false and fabricated.

The conduct of the assembly itself demonstrated an unflinching solidarity and friendship by almost all African countries on Ethiopia’s efforts to repulse the illegal interference of some western countries in the internal affairs of Ethiopia.

 It also demonstrated that African have all the capacity to resolve their problems in the manner that suits to the realities in Africa. Thus, African countries have proved to be the true friends of the people and government of Ethiopia by deciding to attend the assembly disregarding the misrepresentation and false propaganda of terrorist TPLF and its supporters. Addressing the assembly in his welcoming speech Prime Minister Abiy thanked the African leaders, “I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, solidarity and understanding as we underwent these trying times.”

He added “The greatest lesson that Ethiopia bas learned over the past year is that without the solidarity of our African brothers and sisters, our existence as a nation would have been at great risk.”

Moreover, the 35th AU Ordinary Summit has provided Ethiopia with opportunities to confer on the sidelines of the assembly with African leaders and representatives from other countries on bilateral and multi-lateral issues.

Also, on the occasion of the assembly, the government was able to engage in massive image building of the country by holding events to the leaders and their delegations at the recently inaugurated parks and recreational facilities like Friendship Park in Addis Ababa.

Prime Minister Abiy emphasized the formation of a continental media put as : “Equally important is Africa’s media representation on the international stage. Africa is often portrayed in the international media negatively. The endless representation as a continent troubled by civil wars, hunger, corruption, greed, disease and poverty is demeaning and dehumanizing and likely driven by a calculated strategy and agenda.

The stereotypical and negative media representations of Africa not only misinform the rest of the world about our continent, but it also shapes the way we see ourselves as Africans. Telling our own stories and shaping our own narratives must be our top priority. In this regard, I would like to propose to this august body the establishment of an African Union Continental Media House.”

The Prime Minister took the opportunity in his welcoming speech to share and explain a new innovation on nutrition and food security in Ethiopia regarding irrigated dry land agriculture. He said, “In the past two years, Ethiopia has made substantial investment in intensifying summer wheat production through irrigation. Our farmers have been able to control and manage production factors to maximize yields using irrigation. Nationally, we have attained production of 20 million quintals of irrigated wheat farmed on over 500,000 hectares. This has generated nearly 60billion birr in income to our farmers.”

Nonetheless, the 35th AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government had helped to reactivate conference tourism in the country which was disrupted by the advent of COVID-19 in African countries including Ethiopia. Some of the leaders who toured the city expressed their happiness to be in Addis Ababa.

All told, the 35th Assembly of Heads of States and Governments have provided a unique opportunity for Ethiopia to effectively foil the international conspiracy and attacks on its sovereignty, security and peace and maintain closer relations with African countries and partners.

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