Ethiopian government displeased with the European Union and US Ambassadors, who met with TPLF leaders in Mekelle, for not urging the rebel group to commit itself for peace
Advisor the Ethiopian PM on Thursday said that it is dismayed by what it called the “course chosen by a team of envoys & Ambs in handling the matter when in Mekele.”
Redwan Hussien, Security Advisor to the Ethiopian Prime Minister and also a member of the team selected to represent the Ethiopian government for the proposed negotiation with the TPLF, said raised the matter during debrief with Ambassadors from western countries and the US special envoy. He wrote :
“Debriefed with IC expressing gov’t dismay at course chosen by team of envoys & Ambs in handling the matter when in Mekele. They failed to press for unequivocal commitment for peace talks, rather indulging in appeasement & fulfilling preconditions placed by the other party.”
Based on what Mr. Redwan wrote, it seems that Ethiopia tends to believe that the Ambassadors and the US special envoy did not emphasize the importance of TPLF’s unequivocal commitment to the peace talks.
TPLF has put answer to its claim over Wolkait as a precondition for the peace talks which is expected to take place this month in Kenya.
The Ethiopian government rejected any precondition for the peace talk while expressing readiness for the talk.
A joint statement from the Ambassadors and US envoy, according to Redwan, rather emphasized “unfettered humanitarian access.”
Insinuated in the remark from the advisor to the Prime Minister is that the countries whose ambassadors and special envoy met with TPLF leaders in Mekelle on Wednesday are sympathisers of the TPLF cause.
The United States and the European Union had been putting pressure on Ethiopia, including by introducing sanction regimes, to reach a negotiated settlement to end the war with TPLF.
U.S. Charge d’affaires in Ethiopia, European Union Ambassador, Ambassadors of the UK, Italy and Canada were among those who met with TPLF leaders in Mekelle.
A selfie of the U.S. special envoy to the Horn of Africa and the TPLF leaders was circulating on social media.
The TPLF makes the claim that it was a “genocidal war against the people of Tigray” although it is established that the war started when the TPLF forces unexpectedly attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Force.
Regarding Ethiopia’s distaste towards western countries’ ambassador’s visit to Mekelle, the TPLF seems to have reacted by issuing a statement in connection with the investigation of claims of “genocide” in Tigray.
There have been multiple attempts at the UN Security Council to pass a resolution against Ethiopia on alleged grounds of “blocking humanitarian access,” rape and “genocide against Tigray.”
Statements from the U.S. State Department went to the extent of demanding the Ethiopian government withdraw forces from Wolkait by referring to it as “western Tigray.” The issue is still a contentious point.
TPLF has an irredentist claim over the land which it incorporated into Tigray in 1991 after taking power in Addis Ababa with support from the US and its western allies.
In a statement issued hours after Redwan Hussien’s remark, the TPLF blamed the United Nations Human Rights Commission, among others, over what it called establishing contact with the Ethiopian government and treating Tigray [TPLF equates itself asTigray] as a “marginal stakeholder.”
“…any attempts to set up a framework for the investigation that treats Tigray as a marginal stakeholder a step in the wrong direction and therefore unacceptable,” TPLF said in the statement.