Briefing on Ethiopia foreign affairs development over the week

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The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s weekly briefing on political diplomacy and citizen-centered diplomatic activities over the week.

Political Diplomacy

Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed had welcomed the President of Kenya, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta to Addis Ababa, had phone calls with the Prime Minister of Canada, His.E. Justin Trudeau, and prime minister of Sweden, His.E. Stefan Löfven on bilateral issues of common interest.
State Minister H.E. Redwan Hussein had an interview with Al Jazeera Horn of Africa over the week regarding current situations in Ethiopia. Mentioning a few important points,• People are not detained just because of their ethnic background. If the police found them free of their suspected involvement in prohibited activities as stated in the State of Emergency implementation procedure, police will immediately release them.
Reports on the detention of UN personnel do not have anything to do with the organization that they are working for. Again, if the police do not have evidence for their arrest, these people will be released from detention.

The report on the government blockage of humanitarian supply to Tigray since October 18 is not true. On the day the interview has been made, 369 trucks loading humanitarian support have headed to Tigray. Flights to Kombolcha and Lalibela have also been allowed.

Reports on the siege of Addis Ababa by the TPLF and its affiliates are concocted by media outlets to create hysteria and disorient the government from its duty. Some of these media are CNN, New York Times, the BBC, and Reuters.

In relation to this point, “Ethiopia current issue Fact Sheet” over the week has issued a statement downplaying the report by Reuters which claimed that the Government of Ethiopia, through the recently declared State of Emergency, has forced citizens to carry ID cards that identify their ethnic backgrounds. The news story is false because of two facts:
1. The State of Emergency allows citizens to make use of various alternatives as identity documents including driver’s license, employment ID cards, and national passports. None of these documents include the ethnicity of their bearer.
2. Since the coming into office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, most municipalities that used to include ethnic Identity In residence ID cards have discontinued this practice.

International Media Coverage 

In related news, the BBC had misquoted the opinions of a retired U.S. Navy admiral who said, “Ethiopia’s Civil War Is a Problem U.S. Troops Can Help Solve”. Two points have to be clear here:
1. The way the BBC reported this opinion boldly suggesting that the US has decided to send its troops to Ethiopia to solve the current problem is false. Although the BBC later changed its headline, we believe the story should not have been presented in a distorted way in the first place.
2. Although Ethiopia respects the opinion of the admiral, it should be underscored that we are capable of solving our problems through our own initiatives. We believe peaceful solutions from within, not due to External military interventions; will solve Ethiopia’s current challenges.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia has issued a statement over the week urging the US Government to rescind its decision to impose sanctions on the Eritrean Government. The statement says the announcement of the US sanction did not take important facts into account:
1. The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) fired rockets at a sovereign country in the first place and the Eritrean Government, like any other sovereign country, had to respond to the imminent danger posed by the TPLF to its territorial integrity and security.

2. The Government of Ethiopia has never lodged any grievances to the international community regarding the initial presence of Eritrean forces on its soil. The prerogative to put forth such a complaint lies with the Government of Ethiopia and not any other country.

3. The Government of Eritrea has already evacuated its military forces from Ethiopia following the declaration of the Unilateral Humanitarian Ceasefire by the Government of Ethiopia at the end of June 2021.

 Citizen Centred Diplomacy

The Ethiopian Embassy in London, in collaboration with the UK & Ireland support Network for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, collected more than 11.4 million Birr (£152,000) during a one-night fundraising event in London.
Ethiopians, people of Ethiopian origins, and friends of Ethiopia living in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain have held a rally on Monday in Brussels protesting undue external pressures against Ethiopia.

They urged the European Union and the United States to refrain from unnecessarily pressuring the government of Ethiopia.

The Diaspora Advocacy Team in Belgium that organized the rally has announced plans to replicate the experience in many countries in Europe.

The Ethiopian embassy in South Sudan has discussed with Ethiopians living in South Sudan on current situations in Ethiopia. Discussants denounced the destructive actions of the TPLF and the undue pressures from some corners of the international community against the government of Ethiopia. Ambassador of Ethiopia in South Sudan, H.E. Nebil Mahdi, appreciated the pledge of Ethiopians in South Sudan to donate $13000 to the ENDF and expressed his hope that they would continue to support noble causes in Ethiopia.

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