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By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12
Ethiopia: The Ethiopian government will not delist the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) from terrorist designation, Ambassador Dina Mufti, Spokesperson the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) told local media today.
During his biweekly press briefing, MoFA Spokesperson, stated that there were pressures from various segments of societies and international community requesting the Ethiopian government to delist TPLF from the terrorist designation list. “The planned national dialogue is not a negotiation and the Ethiopian government does not have any agenda to negotiate with a designated terrorist group, including TPLF,” Ambassador Dina said.
“The planned national dialogue is not a negotiation and the Ethiopian government does not have any agenda to negotiate with a designated terrorist group, including TPLF,”Ambassador Dina Mufti
“The planned national dialogue is not a negotiation and the Ethiopian government does not have any agenda to negotiate with a designated terrorist group, including TPLF,”
Ambassador Dina Mufti
The Ambassador’s statement echoed the statement released by the ruling Prosperity Party (PP) on 16 February that Ethiopia’s planned inclusive national dialogue does not mean negotiating with groups that were “designated as terrorist by the parliament.”
However, the statement stands in sharp contrast with what Annette Weber, EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, told media on 11 February that there were “discussions right now” regarding the designation of terrorism or the delisting of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) from terrorist designation and that “there is a possibility for delisting.”
“Regarding the designation of terrorism or the delisting, there are discussions right now, that there is a possibility – of course it goes through the parliament – there is a possibility for delisting. And of course after delisting [is] engagement with the TPLF because that is necessary if there is an agreement on the cessation of hostility and ceasefire,” Annette said.
During the briefing today, ambassador Dina talked about stranded Ethiopians that have been languishing in Saudi Arabia detention centers. Though he didn’t give details on what aspects the two governments discussed, he said that the Ethiopian delegation addressed the Saudi government on conditions of how the stranded Ethiopians be repatriated back home. “It is one of the highest responsibilities that the Ethiopian government needs to address and efforts are underway to do so. A National Committee has been set up in Ethiopia to accommodate the returnees,” he said.
Last week a delegation sent by MoFA to address the issue of Ethiopian prisoners languishing in different cities of Saudi Arabia returned without success, reports said. The delegation led by the Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide to facilitate the repatriation of the stranded citizens failed to reach an agreement with authorities in Saudi Arabia, according to JIRRA, an Australia-based not-for-profit charity organization that has been actively following the issue. Nebiyu Sirak, a journalist and a community advocate who used to live Saudi Arabia said, “The return of of the delegation without success is embarrassing.”
A recent investigation by Addis Standard into the conditions of Ethiopians detained in Saudi Arabia’s prisons revealed that a crackdown on illegal migrants has targeted many Ethiopians. A subsequent report revealed that testimonies offered via multiple calls from detainees inside the kingdom’s detention facilities continued. Nursing mothers, infants, and pregnant women continued suffering in these facilities without sufficient food, medicine, and a proper place to sleep. The detainees kept urging the Ethiopian government to intervene and repeatedly complained about Ethiopian Embassy officials in KSA and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officials of abandoning their responsibilities and ignoring their pleas to rescue them.
Responding to Addis Standard if the Ethiopian government has addressed the recent attacks by South Sudan’s armed group from the Murle community againist civilians in Gambella state, ambassador Dina said that “Murle’s attacks have been there for years and the nature of the problem should thoroughly investigate whether they were state sponsored attacks or not. In fact the two countries should educate and create awareness on the local residents on the borders regarding the importance of peaceful coexistence.” recent reports show that the armed groups has killed 18 Ethiopians, abducted 8 children and looted more than 100 heads of cattle from the Gambella region.
Ambassador Dina also discussed the lifting of the state of emergency, and the planned national dialogue. When asked if these measures were to comply with the demand from the international community, he asserted that such measures were in response to the Ethiopian people’s demand who have been asking the government to improve in areas of peace, development and stability in the country, which the government primarily had to address.
Commenting on the U.S. House bipartisan bill “Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace, and Democracy Act,” or H.R. 6600, which co-sponsored by Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks and Ranking Member Michael McCaul,ambassador Dina the bill was in the House being handled by members of congress. “The Ethiopian government has had good diplomatic relations with the U.S administration with whom peace talks engagements have been ongoing,” he said.
On 09 February, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has passed the bipartisan bill authorizing “sanctions against those who are perpetuating the conflict and suspends security and financial assistance to the Ethiopian government until humanitarian and human rights conditions are met.” Ambassador Dina has already told state media that “the bill calls for the imposition of sanctions and unwarranted measures against the people and government of Ethiopia undermining all the positive steps taken to ensure peace in the country.”
I feel bad for Dina Mufti and his likes. Abiy has no guiding principle for how he governs, and civil servants like Dina are left to discern the actual government position on their own. Hence the contradictions we witness day in and day out. Everyone knows this war cannot be won with bullets and there will be direct talks with TPLF at some point. So, Dina carries on with the best narrative he can muster today and pray for what unravels tomorrow. Tomorrow Abiy will have no compunction to de-list TPLF from whatever its designation and throw Dina under the bus.
If Abiy had a guiding principle and goal behind the war with TPLF, the way it was carried out would have had a semblance of a just cause to stand by firmly in the face of all the adversities that followed. The attack, invitation of a foreign army, subsequent defeat, retreat, the outsourcing of the war to Amara and Afar forces, the disappearing act of the Ethiopian defense forces when TPLF began its offensive beyond Tigray, the unwillingness to mobilize and form a national army (like Mengistu did to confront Somalia’s aggression) the silence as TPLF ravaged Amara region all the way to northern Shewa, the shameless Rambo-style bravado with drones and glee of victory as if anything has been won, the release of Sebhat Nega and comrades, the attempt to marginalize and disarm Fano when the threat of war still looms large, the deafening silence as Afar gets run over yet again, the backdoor negotiations and denial thereof. The list goes on. Even an ardent supporter of Abiy has to stop and wonder, what the hell is going on. These glaring inconsistencies are indicative of a leadership that does not have a guiding principle. He cannot sensibly explain any of it. That is why he is all over the place whenever he speaks; swinging between contradictory declarations like TPLF is decimated to dust one day, and oh, they are an existential threat a day later.
Let’s not even go into:
• The broad-daylight and sustained ethnic cleansing of Amara. One can be charitable and say that Abiy has decided this is a problem best ignored, but of course the evidence that the Oromia government (which for all intent and purposes today is the federal government) is complicit in this crime, is aplenty.
• The silence regarding the incursion of Sudanese troops 70 km into Ethiopian territory while decrying other foreign actors are violating our sovereignty
• The list of PP officials in Amara region who have no shame to loot the nation’s treasury at a time of war, revealing a shocking level of corruption and depravity of the Prosperity Party that Abiy leads.
• The deliberate provocation of the Orthodox church and whipping up unnecessary conflict at a time when the nation is mired with an intractable national conflict.
Again, an ardent supporter of Abiy has to wonder where does this stop? If Abiy is not deliberately pouring fuel to the fire, he is most assuredly allowing it to burn.
Let’s admit it. There is a complete breakdown of the most basic functions of a government. We are rapidly descending into a failed state status and witnessing the disintegration of our country right before our eyes. All the political actors of any influence to speak of, are die hard ethno-nationalists who don’t give a whit about the break-up of Ethiopia. And we have a looney performative PM that plays god-elect and offers platitudes to his loyal flock who eat it up like candy.
Ato Asfaw asks what should Ethiopians do? Answer: Know thy enemy first: Abiy and his band of corrupt ethno-nationalist PP posse are destroying Ethiopia actively and passively. Wake up!!
Oh, my God !Thank God !We have lucid writers like you who could turn the balance of power decidedly against “The Great Impostor” !His wickerwork of farcical politics is coming down crashing to the ground with his serial lying power deserting him completely in the face of even his most ardent supporters turning the other way !
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