Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ of Ethiopia cited Mr. Feltman as saying “U.S. Government perfectly understands the views of the people of Ethiopia on the TPLF”
Updated on August 18,2021
Mr. Jeffery Feltman is back to Ethiopia for a visit for a second time in about three months. When he visited first in May of this year, the United States’ stated objective was a ” sustained diplomatic effort to address the interlinked political, security, and humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa, and he will coordinate U.S. policy across the region to advance that goal. ”
However, the US has been calling more explicitly for an end to the conflict in, back then, in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Now the war is no longer in that region as the TPLF took it to Afar and Amhara regions from where over five hundred thousand people were displaced.
The U.S. government had been condemning the Ethiopian government over the “humanitarian crisis” and “violation of human rights” in the region. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on the other hand has been enjoying what appears to be tacit support from the United States and its allies.
Feltman, who arrived in Ethiopia on Tuesday, will not meet with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as the latter reportedly, travelled to Eritrea, although the government has not officially confirmed it. Mr. Abiy also has a scheduled trip to Turkey where he will meet with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The U.S. envoy had to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and is planning to meet with other government officials, perhaps including the minister for peace, Muferat Kamil.
Feltman is now firsthand informed by an Ethiopian authority as to what TPLF has been doing recently. Demeke Mekonnen told him ,as reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, ” The invading force [TPLF] is currently carrying out open invasions, looting and killings in the Afar and Amhara regions.”
The United States has not yet officially condemned the massacres of civilians by TPLF in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia. Yet, it still wants a political settlement with the TPLF.
The “U.S. Government perfectly understands the views of the people of Ethiopia on the TPLF,” is what he had to say during his meeting with Demeke.
It is not just a “view,” however. In May 2021, The Ethiopian Parliament designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization in consideration of the attack it carried out on the Ethiopian Defense Force in November 2020 and the Maikadra massacre.
Most Ethiopians tend to believe that the United States is working to restore terrorist TPLF to power, not to resolve the conflict. In the past two days, social media campaign with the hashtag #FeltmanGoBackToKabul campaigned against Feltman’s visit to Ethiopia.
The U.S. embassy or the State Department did not explicitly announce what Feltman is tasked to achieve from his working trip to Ethiopia.
Whatever that is, it may not be easy, as the U.S. has lost credibility as a neutral mediator. It is rather seen as a hostile power to the existence of a poverty free and strong Ethiopia.
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