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Foreign intervention, pressure inspiring a movement for Ethiopia

Ethiopia movement against intervention is born. Western tendencies of Intervention in  Ethiopia’s internal affair creating apprehension in the country that the U.S. and its allies might turn Ethiopia into Libya 

Ethiopia Movement _ Hands-off _ Ethiopia
Leaders of Ethiopian movement against foreign intervention after announcing the movement (Photo : ENA)

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A significant part of Ethiopia history is an embodiment of the struggle to maintain the independence of the country. And it was able to do so even at a time much of Africa, and a considerable part of the world, was under the yoke of colonialism. 

Ethiopia seems to be living a challenging times again. It comes from both regional actors and from western powers. 

When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took over office in April 2018, the show of support for his government from the west was noticeable. He was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in connection with the paradigm shift towards Eritrean policy. 

What caused the policy change? On the surface, it seems to be related to three issues – both domestic and international. 

Ethiopia’s law enforcement campaign in the Tigray region of Ethiopia ( as the government calls it), the sixth general election and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) are at the core of western pressure and intervention campaigns. There are speculations as well that the western powers want to keep Ethiopia weak and vulnerable so that they can impose their interests – economic and cultural – among others. 

Interventionist tendencies from the west, as demonstrated in the latest statement from the U.S. State Department which alarmed Ethiopians in the country and abroad,has become a concern to most Ethiopians to the point that it is now giving birth to a hands-off Ethiopia movement. 

Those tendencies are usually expressed, as is the case elsewhere, under the guise of human rights protection and advocacy for freedom of expression. 

This week UK Ambassador to Ethiopia, Alastair McPhail, expressed his “worry” that Ethiopia is denying journalists their rights especially in connection with the situation in Tigray. He tweeted : 

“Journalists losing their right to report in #Ethiopia is worrying, especially now in the context of #Tigray and as the country heads towards elections. I urge the Flag of Ethiopiaauthorities to recognise that journalists provide a public service and allow them to do it. #MediaFreedom” 

On Tuesday, organizers unveiled it with the motto “National Dignity in Unity.” It draws its membership from civic society, activists, prominent figures, musicians and actors. 

They had a press conference on Tuesday in the capital Addis Ababa in which they said that some countries are issuing  a statement that intervenes in the internal affairs of Ethiopia and violates its sovereignty. 

According to the organizers, the intervention is directed against the people of Ethiopia, not just against the government. 

“Ethiopians need to stand together to demonstrate that Ethiopians do not negotiate about their dignity and sovereignty,” said Andargachew Tsige, former opposition party leader , currently working as director of Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT). 

Ustas Abunakr, who used to be a member of Ethiopian Muslim committee what that was under attack during Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) domination of the central government, on his part said “Westerners are exploiting the challenges that Ethiopia is facing and act in a way that violates the independence of Ethiopia.” 

A letter is prepared to be distributed to embassies based in the capital Addis Ababa on Friday, and all Ethiopians will convey a message “hands-off Ethiopia.” Ethiopians in the country and abroad will take part in the campaign.  

Ethiopians in the Diaspora have been organizing demonstrations to protest interventions under the guise of alleged human rights violations in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.  

The latest protest was in Washington, D.C. on Monday. Protestors opposed U.S. demand that Amhara region special forces have to withdraw from Wolkait and Raya regions of Ethiopia. 

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