Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeNewsEthiopian gov't calls U.S. “policy speech” in Addis Ababa  "unsolicited", "ill-advised"

Ethiopian gov’t calls U.S. “policy speech” in Addis Ababa  “unsolicited”, “ill-advised”

Ethiopian MEFA statement _ USA policy speech


Toronto – Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAE)  on Thursday issued a statement in reaction to  the United States’ “Policy Speech” on Human Rights and National Dialogue  in Ethiopia.  It was the United States Ambassador to Ethiopia Ervin J. Massinga who made the speech in an event organized at the “American Gibbi” – a locality in Addis Ababa with a historical significance to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Ethiopia.  The area used to be home for the U.S. legation in Ethiopia and it is currently a Yemeni Community School. 

The MFAE saw the policy speech as an “advice to the Government of Ethiopia on how best to run the affairs of the country and mention groups bent on overthrowing the elected Government by force, and known for blackmailing, kidnapping, and terrorizing civilians.” 

Furthermore, the Ministry said ‘the statement is ill-advised and contains uninformed assertions. It is contrary to the historic and friendly relations between Ethiopia and the United States. ” 

The U.S. Embassy is yet to respond to the statement from the MFAE. However, the Ministry indicated that it will be working with the U.S. Embassy  to correct what it called “factual errors and inconsistencies in the statement.”  It also said that the Ministry will “suggest better ways befitting diplomatic decorum; and that will not undermine democratic processes and peace in the country. Ethiopia remains committed to a mutually respectful bilateral dialogue and relations with the United States.” 

In his ten minutes  “policy speech”  the U.S.  Ambassador highlighted rights abuse by different actors but the criticism was  more stern on the government.  The Ethiopian government is implicated in extrajudicial killings, sexual violence in a conflict situation, forced disappearance and crackdown against politicians and critics.   The Ambassador said  “to those whose responsibility is to govern the entire  country, Ethiopia, … the country has far more to gain through peace than on the battlefield. A security focused approach will not resolve complex political issues. Detaining and Harassing those who criticize the government will not resolve those issues that must be addressed. The Political dialogue that Ethiopians need could be helped by releasing key political figures.” 

Also the Ambassador spoke against displacing the population across the country  and said “this must end.”   Tens of thousands of Ethiopians were displaced from what is now Sheggar City after their homes were demolished.

The United States government said right abuse issues “must be addressed with urgency and accountability such as through a genuine transparent transitional justice process. “

The policy statement also made remarks about the political forces in the country, while it encouraged the Oromo Liberation Army – whom the policy statement credited with “making genuine effort to reach a deal at the negotiating table” to continue effort for dialogue, the policy criticized Fano forces ( who the Ambassador described as “those who call themselves Fano) for “objections to dialogue.” A Fano representative in Gojam opposed it saying that Fano was not invited for a peaceful dialogue. They said “Abiy Ahmed’s order to fano to work with Arega Kebede is not an invitation for dialogue.”  Ambassador Massinga’s remark against Fano has triggered anger among Ethiopians. 

The Ambassador also advised the TPLF – whom a  prominent journalist in the country described as “spoiled child of the west” – to not take territories by force.  


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  1. What is this? What better advice can come from a concerned ambassador than asking others to opt for a dialogue? What is more productive than that? What is more beneficial than that? I wish some of us here among our Diaspora stop fanning the flames of hate and wars from our safe and comfy homes. The youth in both Amhara and Oromia regions is being thrown into a raging inferno by conniving leaders. Mothers are wailing daily on the news of their demised children for a cause much ado about nothing. Hundreds and possibly thousands have already lost their Allah blessed lives and hundreds of thousands have become homeless. I can tell all of you rabble-rousers this: There is no issue whatsoever that necessitates armed violence to solve it. None! They can all be solved through earnest and honest dialogue. Period.
    I also say this to whoever was speaking on behalf the government. I commend you for holding dialogue in Tigray. But I find your raining of bombs on civilians from the skies using drones repugnant. How can you convince me your drones are any different from Mengistu’s bomber jets that rained bombs including cluster and incendiary ones over fraternal black folks in Eritrea in the 1970’s and 80’s? According to your Chief of Staff drones were acquired only to defend the country from foreign enemies/invaders. Are there Egyptian soldiers in Amhara and Oromia regions? You tell me! The only two other times bombs rained on civilians from the skies were during Mengistu’s time and when those fascist bigots from Rome invaded the old country in mid 1930’s.

    Finally I say this to those young men and women who were lured to go to the bushes in Oromia and Amhara regions. Tell and press your leaders to opt for peaceful dialogue. Drop your guns and go back to your loved ones. That was what your young friends in Tigray did in 2022 and help/force the door open to Pretoria. War will not produce lasting solutions to the problems facing your regions. War has proven itself to bring deaths and destruction. Just look at Tigray. War is told to have caused the deaths of close a million citizens. It is reported that close to 20 billion in US dollars to resuscitate the region back to life. War song Laloyes accompanied by sky high jumps did not bring victory. The same truth apply to Oromia and Amhara regions. Inciting Zerraafs and Gerersaas will end up copying what went down in Tigray. I repeat guns will not shoot out solutions. They never did. Guns instead shatter the fabric of a society just in days that will take generations to heal.

    I also tell this to the members of the ENDF. You need to show your desire for peaceful solutions to the problems facing the country. If there is the will, there always is the way. Those young fighters roaming the wilderness now are the same boys and girls who were once your classmates and who played pick up soccer with you in the hoods. They are not foreign enemies. Smart alecks and connivers shunned, peace is a sure way to be at hand.

    Peace, peace, peace y’all!!!!


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