Addis Ababa, March 24, 2022 (FBC) – The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today to the media.
The Spokesperson recalled that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen received at his office on Tuesday the U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa David Satterfield to discuss bilateral issues of mutual concern.
According to Ambassador Dina, Deputy Prime Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to allow unimpeded access to humanitarian aid further stressing concerns over obstructions to the process due to the TPLF’s continued provocation of adjacent regions.
Regarding HR6600 and S. 3199, the Spokesperson underscored that the draft bills contradict the longstanding and historical relations of the two countries.
Ambassador Dina quoted Demeke saying “U.S. would discard the draft bills since they put the lives of ordinary Ethiopians in danger rather than promote peace and democracy in the country,”
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also briefed Satterfield about the encouraging peace initiatives that the government of Ethiopia has taken to ensure lasting peace and stability in the country.
In connection with this, he mentioned the release of renowned political figures from detention, the lifting of the State of Emergency before its due time, and the positive steps reached so far in establishing a national dialogue Commission and electing its Commissioners.
Special Envoy David Satterfield, on his part, said the United States has appreciated and acknowledged the positive steps taken by the Ethiopian government to pacify and stabilize the country.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen had a virtual discussion with the Ethiopian Diaspora Community leaders and representatives based in the U.S regarding HR6600 (Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace, and Democracy Act) and S.3199 (Ethiopia Peace and Democracy Promotion Act of 2021), Dina said.
He said the resolutions are drafted to nullify the struggles and to regress the achievements of Ethiopians all over the world in protecting the sovereignty of their country.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, received at his office on Friday a delegation led by H.E. Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International.
The two sides noted that drought; COVID-19, conflict, and displacement put the lives of millions of people in Ethiopia in danger, necessitating multifaceted support from Oxfam and other humanitarian partners.
In connection with that, he briefed the Oxfam Executive director about the encouraging steps taken by the government to ensure lasting peace in the country. In this regard, he mentioned the proposed national dialogue, the release of prominent political figures from prison, and the lifting of the state of emergency as the government’s commitment to paving the way for ensuring peace and stability in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador in South Sudan, Nebil Mahdi holds talks with Mayiik Ayii Deng, Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Sudan, on bilateral issues. During the meeting, Ambassador Nebil briefed the Minister on security and development issues related to the joint border between Ethiopia and South Sudan. In particular, he stressed the need to hold a meeting of the Joint Boundaries Commission to get solutions to the repeated attacks by Murule militants on innocent civilians crossing the Ethiopian border.
In related news, Ambassador Nebil met with South Sudanese Minister of Health to discuss bilateral cooperation in the health sector.
Regarding the new accusations on the killing of 3 MSF staff in Tigray, the Spokesperson noted that the government of Ethiopia on June 25 2021, expressed condolences on the death of the Spaniard and 2 Ethiopians in Abi Adi, Tigray underlining that the area was where TPLF actively operates.
The government of Ethiopia also expressed its regret for the death of these MSF employees suggesting that the deceased should have asked for a military escort to avoid such tragic killings.
In addition to that the government of Ethiopia had formed a group consisting of members from the ENDF, the Federal Police and the Ministry of Justice, to further investigate the case, but circumstances did not allow for further investigation since the area was under the control of the TPLF.
New claims and accusations made against the Ethiopian government soldiers, such as the one entertained by the New York Times, are baseless because the so called, “investigation,” was conducted by TPLF sympathizers in Tigray who claimed to interview Ethiopian soldiers incarcerated in the TPLF prisons. No one in their right mind could seriously take such allegations and the words of soldiers who could be under every tactic of coercion and coaching by the TPLF.
No other professional method was employed to make such a conclusion than relying on the words of an unnamed reporter employed by The New York Times who was said to have contributed from Mekelle, Ethiopia.
The government of Ethiopia notes that the case needs a thorough investigation by relevant and competent bodies before reaching such an erroneous conclusion. The government, as always, is keen to work closely with MSF.
Furthermore, the Spokesperson indicated that Ethiopia and China held a fruitful discussion on the Economic and Development Cooperation between the two countries on March 21, 2022. They conferred on the status of the ongoing and new projects submitted by Ethiopia under the framework of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Ambassador Teshome Toga on the occasion said that China has supported Ethiopia in completing several infrastructure projects under the FOCAC platform. He expressed his hope that ongoing and new projects among the 9 programs of the Eighth China Africa Ministerial Conference would be implemented fully.
The Spokesperson further stated that a high-level Ethiopian delegation is Saudi Arabia facilitating repatriation of Ethiopian citizens who are in hostile condition in the country.
Saying that the repatriation process is expected to begin before the start of Ramadan, Dina added that around 42,000 Ethiopians have registered for repatriation so far.