IGAD member states are encouraged to support Ethiopia address humanitarian crises caused by the law enforcement operation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia
December 20, 2020
Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, said on Sunday that Ethiopia’s law enforcement operation in Tigray region was legitimate.
He said so during the 38th IGAD Extraordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Djibouti.
“In Ethiopia, the Federal government took bold steps to preserve the unity, stability and respect for the constitutional order of the country which is legitimate for all the states,” he said during his speech at the Summit.
Heads of states from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti – among others – were present during the summit, and the regional body seems to have supported the Federal government’s operation in the Tigray region – which started on November 4 after the TPLF forces attacked several military bases of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed gratitude for the clarity that IGAD has regarding Ethiopia’s military operation in the north which is said to have been completed following the capture of Mekele although hunting TPLF leaders is still underway.
“I express my deepest gratitude to IGAD leaders for understanding and acknowledging our law enforcement measures as legal and legitimate, as well as for expressing commitment to supporting Ethiopia,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wrote on his social media page on Sunday.
Ethiopia has been under pressure from the international community like the European Union and big media in the western world in connection with the operation.
The AU chairperson did not, however, downplay the humanitarian challenges that the law enforcement caused, and he encouraged members of IGAD to support Ethiopia to address the problem.
“It cannot be denied however that the crisis in Tigray has provoked large-scale displacement. We encourage IGAD to support Ethiopia in addressing the humanitarian dimensions. Particular attention should be paid to refugees and displaced people. It is necessary to recall the important role that Ethiopia plays in peacekeeping operations in the region, and I hope that this effort will continue,” he said.
Based on Sudanese news sources, the number of Ethiopian refugees who crossed to Sudan following the law enforcement campaign after November 4 has reached over 52,000.
This week, the Ethiopian government announced that it will start working with Sudan to restore Ethiopians who were not involved in crime to return to their homes.
According to a report by Ethiopia State of Emergency Fact Check Secretariat, Redwan Hussien, some of the people who are claiming refugee status in Sudan are criminals who were involved in crimes like the Maikadra massacre. On November 9, more than six hundred ethnic Amhara residents of Maikadra were savagely slaughtered by retreating Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) army.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Sudanese leader Abdalla Hamdok are opening a border meeting next week, according to a report by Sudan Tribune. There was an incident last week along the borders of the two countries involving clashes between Sudanese Military forces and Ethiopian militia in the region.
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