By Ethiopian Observer
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced visa restrictions and economic sanctions on Ethiopia on Sunday, right before his trip to Cairo Egypt.
While US diplomats have previously expressed concern about Tigray, most Ethiopian and other observers did not expect such drastic escalation by the Joe Biden administration, particularly as WFP and authorities announced a recent surge in delivery of aid to people impacted by the conflict. As a United Nations team began investigations last week, the Attorney General office also published preliminary results of its investigations which revealed that, while some civilians became collateral damage, most of the reported civilian deaths were ordinary people armed by TPLF and turned combatants against the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies. As the result, as of May 2021, the most deadly episode of the Tigray conflict remains the slaughter of over 1,000 Welkait Amhara civilians & laborers massacred by the TPLF.
Consequently, most Ethiopians said the overnight change toward extreme in US foreign policy is less about human rights and more about gaining Egyptian support dealing with the crisis in the Middle East.
Below were some of the reactions from Ethiopians worldwide
Addis Ababa University Law Professor Mesenbet Asefa said extremist US policy is not about human rights but about GERD to help Egypt, as Joe Biden faces a crisis in Palestine
Lawyer and California State U Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam said he already predicted a “May surprise” from US official Susan Rice, who was a close friend of former TPLF dictator Meles Zenawi.
Deacon Yoseph Tafari, chairman of Ethiopian-American Civic Council (EACC), said diaspora Ethiopians worldwide should increase remittances to make-up for economic aid cuts caused by US sanctions
Oromo Human rights activist Edao Dawano said America is damaging century old alliance with Ethiopia to help Egypt
Ethiopian-American democracy activist Gennet Negussie compared TPLF insurrection to the US capital insurrectionists
Jigjiga University Somali Professor Muktar said America has lost moral ground
Minnesota-based Prof Endalk Chala noted hypocrisy in US foreign policy
Al jazeera columnist and Professor Yohannes Gedamu said the US is taking the wrong foreign policy
US-based Pro-democracy activist Teshome Borago said American policies under Biden contradict its purported ideals
Lawyer Mahlet Alemu downplayed the visa restrictions and asked Ethiopian leaders to sacrifice for greater good
Ethiopian-American Feben Wolde said diaspora worldwide should establish permanent fundraising system to help Ethiopian economy
Former opposition spokesman Ephrem Madebo reiterated that Ethiopia does not take its sovereignty lightly
Canada-based activist Antonio Mulatu said Ethiopia has always faced world powers alone
However some Tigrayans supported the US sanctions. Activist Alula Solomon suggested Ethiopian Airlines should also face sanctions.
(NOTE: Alula is one of the several TPLF operatives with direct access to international journalists like CNN’s Sudanese reporter Nima Elbagir)
Lucy Kassa, allegedly another TPLF operative with close family ties to TPLF officials, published another article on UK based Telegraph, accusing the Ethiopian government of burning a woman in Tigray. Her comments were also shared by W.H.O. Director Dr Tedros, former executive member of the TPLF.
(Note: there is no evidence that the Ethiopian government is using or has ever used chemical weapons intentionally against civilians, though the UN accused the TPLF-led forces in Mogadishu of using white phosphorus to kill 35 Somali civilians in 2007. That campaign was directed and supported by the United States government)
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