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Ethiopia’s sovereignty not for trade off, says Ministry

Sovereignty and freedom are existential questions for Ethiopia, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

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Ethiopia’s sovereignty and freedom is not up for trade off under any circumstances, said spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Dina Mufti. 

He said so on Tuesday during a biweekly media briefing in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. 

“Ethiopia’s sovereignty and freedom is a redline that can not be crossed nor something that bartered for money. It is an existential question,” Ethiopian News Agency cited Mr. Dina Mufti. 

Furthermore, he added that the international community is adamant to accept the situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia not because of the information gap but because of its vested interest in the issue. 

This week the United States State Department issued a statement in which it announced visa restrictions targeting Ethiopian and Eritrean officials for alleged involvement in what the US called human rights violations in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and for obstructing humanitarian aid in the region. 

Ethiopian government refuted the claim saying that it has made the region accessible to humanitarian assistance, and that it was also providing more than 70 percent of humanitarian assistance for those who needed it. 

The U.S. also announced economic and security aid restrictions to Ethiopia demanding the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray region. 

Moreover, the United States demanded an end to the conflict and dialogue between parties to the conflict – implying a talk between the Ethiopian government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)

The reason why that could be difficult, and the Ethiopian government has already resisted it, is that the Ethiopian Parliament has unanimously designated TPLF as a terrorist organization. 

TPLF attacked several bases of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force on the night of November 4 triggering an end to Ethiopian government’s months of appeasement policy. Military response to the TPLF attack was quick, and the Ethiopian government completed the major military operation within two weeks. 

The number of deaths on both sides is not yet disclosed. What is known is that tens of thousands of Ethiopians in the Tigray region of Ethiopia have been displaced internally. Also, tens of thousands crossed the border to Sudan. There were reports that TPLF forces including those carrying out the Maikadra massacre fled to Sudan where they were received as asylum seekers. 

Apart from recurring statements from the U.S. government, there has been pressure on Ethiopian government from international media with allegations ranging from genocide to chemical weapons usage against civilians in the Tigray region. 

Ethiopian activists and the public opposed the latest claims and sanctions by the U.S. 

On Tuesday, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation ( EBC) aired remarks from Ethiopians in the capital Addis Ababa and elsewhere. It is clear that most people tend to see the U.S. statement and the sanctions as an interventionist one. 

The sentiments towards the United States – with whom Ethiopia has over 120 years of diplomatic relations – is resentment and the U.S. action is giving a new perspective to young Ethiopians. 

U.S. demand in connection with the conflict in Tigray region is seen as a violation of Ethiopia’s sovereignty. 

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