Statement regarding the latest ‘report by Amnesty International on the alleged rape and other sexual violence in the Tigray Regional State of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (August 12, 2021)

The Government of Ethiopia condemns sexual violence in all circumstances and including in situations of conflict and has a zero-tolerance policy. The Government of Ethiopia has previously issued statements acknowledging that there have been some instances in which during the course of the conflict in the Tigray Regional State, some members of the armed forces have engaged in conduct that is contrary to the clear rules of engagement and direction they have been given. Such illegal conduct included instances of sexual violence and taking this into account the Government had taken steps to ensure accountability and will continue with these measures with a view to bringing to justice the perpetrators of sexual violence. The Government of Ethiopia is fully cognizant of the physical, social, and psychological impact of sexual violence and had been in collaboration with the Interim Administration of the Tigray Regional State trying to provide psychosocial services to alleviate the trauma caused by such regrettable incidents in conflict situations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has noted the latest ‘report’ by Amnesty International alleging serious violations of international humanitarian law, including rape and other sexual violence. The report concluded that “…overwhelming evidence it has collected showing that Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers and members of allied militia are responsible for a pattern of rape and other forms of sexual violence”. It also refers to ‘…1,288 cases of sexual violence from February to April 2021…’ and ‘…376 cases of rape committed from the beginning of the conflict to 9 June 2021’ as well as ‘…sexual slavery in Tigray Regional State of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’. This is primarily based on information that is said to be gathered between March and June 2021 by interviewing 63 women and girl survivors and from information said to be gathered from health facilities which are also alleged to be destroyed in the ‘report’. The ‘report’ also refers to alleged ‘rape of several women while trying to cross the border to the Sudan and sexual slavery’ on accounts of 3 individuals (women) and information from 12 individuals, respectively.

Amnesty’s report is based on a flawed methodology and relies heavily on interviews conducted in refugee camps in the Sudan and remote interviews facilitated by ‘community workers.’ For everyone familiar with the modus operandi of the terrorist TPLF, the identity of these ‘community workers’ is no great mystery. Furthermore, after interviewing 63 individuals, Amnesty reaches sweeping and far-reaching conclusions that could hardly be supported by the limited and remote ‘investigation’ it claims to have conducted. Amnesty’s investigation when considering the seriousness of the conclusions of the report, including allegations that the highest level of Government has ‘tolerated’ sexual violence, seems scanty and decidedly lacking in rigor.

As has been the case, in some of its previous reports, Amnesty International seems bent on engaging in sensationalized attacks and smear campaigns against the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Government of Ethiopia had already expressed its concerns about the impartiality and professionalism of some of the personnel within the Amnesty East African Office. The current report reinforces those apprehensions. We also find it curious that the Amnesty report fails to recognize the joint investigation being conducted by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. Instead, the Amnesty report in its recommendation recommends that organs of the UN including the Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council give a platform for the so-called Commission of Inquiry that is being conducted remotely and interviews at ‘refugee camps’ in Sudan where the perpetrators of the Maikadra massacre and a large contingent of the TPLF militia are stationed. These recommendations contradict the political motivations and biases that inform such reports that try to weaponize human rights as a means to meddle in countries that refuse to be dictated by various interests.

The continued attacks and confrontation by the remnants of the terrorist TPLF group in the Tigray Regional State and neighboring Regional States (Amhara Regional State and Afar Regional State) has created serious difficulty in apprehending the criminals and bringing them to justice. It has also made the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure and restoration of basic services; and delivery of humanitarian assistance to people of concern in the Tigray Regional State of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia a much difficult task.

The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia remains firmly committed to ensure accountability to the alleged serious humanitarian and human rights violations. The current joint investigation by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is expected to contribute to this endeavor by the Government, particularly in bringing perpetrators accountable.

Ensuring the protection and security of our nationals remains of utmost importance to the Government of Ethiopia. Going forward, the Government will further strengthen its efforts to comprehensively respond to the humanitarian situation with the same rigor of ensuring the protection and security of its nationals. In collaboration with relevant actors, it will redouble its efforts to provide the necessary life-saving humanitarian assistance. It will also take concrete measures to ensure the sustainable repatriation and reintegration of the displaced.

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Highlighting the unfair and orchestrated international media attacks on Ethiopia: a country of over 100 million (August 11, 2021)

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በአሜሪካ ዋሽንግተን ዲ.ሲ. የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ መደበኛ አገልግሎት በመስጠት ላይ ነው (August 11, 2021)

አንዳንድ አካላት በአሜሪካ ዋሽንግተን ዲ.ሲ. የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ አገልግሎት አቁሟል የሚል የተሳሳተ መረጃ እያሰራጩ እንደሆነ ሰምተናል! ነገር ግን ኤምባሲያችን መደበኛ አገልግሎት በመስጠት ላይ መሆኑን በትህትና እንገልጻለን!

Some sources are spreading false information that the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington D.C. has stopped providing services. However, we humbly inform all that our embassy is providing its regular services!

Terrorist TPLF has killed 240 civilians in Afar region: Al-Jazeera (August 9, 2021)

Al-Jazeera reported that the TPLF terrorist group killed 240 civilians, including 107 children, in an attack in the Afar region.

Though the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral cease-fire, the TPLF continued to carry out attacks in neighbouring states, the report said.

The report remembered Samantha Power’s concern about the terrorist acts of the TPLF and the displacement of many people from Afar and Amhara, following the terrorist attack.

Al Jazeera reported that the group’s attacks targeted towns and schools in the Kalikuma area of ​​the Afar region.

Al-Jazeera reported that a total of 240 civilians were killed, including 107 children, and hundreds of thousands were displaced as a result of the terrorist attack.

Al-Jazeera also reported that the terrorist group recruited children for the attack in the Afar region.

The report called on the international community to recognize that the terrorist group is undermining the peace and security of the country following a unilateral cease-fire.

Source: Al-Jazeera

ዳላስ ቴክሳስ አዲስ ታሪክ ተሰራ! (August 9, 2021)

በትናንትናው ዕለት ከምሽቱ 10:00 ሰዓት እስከ እኩለ ሌሊት በዘለቀው የኢትዮጵያውያን የዳላስ አብሮነት ምሽት ድንቅ የአጋርነት መልዕክቶችን በማስተላለፍ በኢትዮጵያ ድጋፍ ለሚሹ ወገኖች በአንድ መድረክ ከ$140,000 የአሜሪካን ዶላር በላይ በማሰባሰብ አዲስ ክብረ ወሰን ተመዝግቧል!

ይህ ድጋፍ እንዲገኝ ላስተባበሩ ለኮሚቴው ሰብሳቢና አመራሮች፣ ለኃይማኖት አባቶች፣ ለመድረክ መሪዎች እንዲሁም በጨረታ ጭምር በተደጋጋሚ ለለገሳችሁ ሁሉ የከበረ ምስጋናችን ይድረሳችሁ!

በቀጣይ የዳላሶችን ፈለግ በመከተል በሌሎችም ከተሞች የተጠናከረ የአጋርነትና የልገሳ ፕሮግራም እንደሚካሄድ እንተማመናለን! ኢትዮጵያ በልጆችዋ ትከበራለች!

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen says Ethiopians should unite in disabling TPLF’s destructive acts (August 8, 2021)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, said Ethiopians should unite to defend their country and halt TPLF’s lootings and killings of civilians in the Amhara and Afar regions.

He said this today (August 08) while heading a visiting delegation to Debre Zebit, Meqet Woreda that comprises high-level federal and regional government officials, including Prosperity Party Office Head, Mr. Binalf Andualem.

The delegation paid a visit to the units of Ethiopian Defense Forces, Amhara Special Forces, and Fano that are defending the area from the destructive acts of the terrorist group.

The visiting group has also appreciated the preparation, motivation, and initiative of the people in the area to defend themselves from TPLF’s irresponsible acts working together with the ENDF and Special Forces.

Mr. Demeke underscored that the people should give a debilitative blow to the terrorist group and disable it from compromising the unity of Ethiopians and the wellbeing of their country.

A Response to the Statement by the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur Regarding the Situation of Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia (August 7, 2021)

We would like to express our regret that the statement issued by the UN Commission on Human Rights (dated 6 August 2021), based on the hunches of its rapporteur, Dr. Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker (Sudan) on the situation of Eritrean refugees in Tigray, undermines Ethiopia’s centuries-old protection of refugees and does not take into account the facts on the ground.

We find the statement full of fabrications, misrepresentation, and ill-informed of facts and data, which puts the rapporteur’s impartiality and credibility into question. To begin with, the statement tries to draw a comparison between TPLF, a terrorist enterprise, and the government of Ethiopia and the people of a country that protects refugees for ages by calling them “all combatants”. Then, it blatantly and deliberately tries to protect the terrorist enterprise by stating “by forces affiliated with [TPLF]”, while directly and falsely incriminating the government of Ethiopia by undermining all efforts exerted to rescue the refugees by relocating them to a safe location and granting assisted urban refugee status. It has even the audacity to claim that Eritrean refugees are being “targeted and victimized by both sides for their perceived collaboration with the other side in the conflict.” How a government who has a proven track record of hosting and protecting refugees for centuries, and is currently granting the right to live in its capital city can be labelled in such a manner is beyond consideration. It is simply an insidious and baseless lie.

While the TPLF and its affiliates were attacking the two refugee camps, it was the EDF that helped ARRA to locate and transport the scattered refugees. Of the 19,200 refugees from Hitsats and Shimelba, the Ethiopian government has relocated more than 9,000 to Mai-Aini and Adi-Harush and 69 to Berahle, 79 refugees are waiting relocation to Berahle, registered more than 5,300 refugees in Addis Ababa, and both ARRA and UNHCR have credible data that shows the total population of Eritrean refugees who fled the two camps and reside in the city is more than 9,000. We have made 91 hectares of land available to develop into a new camp and have made repeated calls for help in rescuing the refugees. The government has also graciously decided to give out-of-camp status to those who are already in the city and in three days more than 800 are re-registered.

Furthermore, the statement systematically neglects the fact that TPLF launches fresh attacks on refugee hosting areas and puts their lives at risk with reported abductions, killings, looting, and deployment of heavy artilleries inside the camp, and blocks refugees from moving out of danger which is tantamount to hostage situation. To make the captioned issue straight, this fact has already been expressed by the Government of the USA and the UNHCR in addition to the Ethiopian government.

As the Ethiopian Government’s unilateral ceasefire which is aimed at enabling humanitarian assistance continues to be hampered by the TPLF’s provocations, we have a reason to believe that such a statement is a craft to diminish the efforts of the government. We call for officials holding humanitarian posts to act impartially, however, if this is not the case, the government of Ethiopia would be forced to assess the reasons for impartiality and take measures accordingly.

Reaffirming our commitment to the protection of refugees, we request the UN Human Rights Commission to correct the biased and partial opinions of its rapporteur. We also call the Commission and other international humanitarian organizations to help our efforts of rescuing the refugees from the imminent danger they are in and assist our efforts of investigating the issue.

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Press Statement on Protection of Cultural Sites (August 6, 2021)

TPLF has continued launching attacks and creating havoc in the adjacent territories of the Tigray region. The TPLF forces also continue to impede humanitarian assistance, thereby putting the lives of many millions at risk.

Despite the unilateral ceasefire declared by the Government, the TPLF forces have turned a deaf ear to the call by the international community to cease all sorts of hostility and allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people in need and for farmers in the Region to make use of the rainy season.

Due to the recent attacks by the force in some areas in the Amhara Region, the people are concerned about the possible destruction of religious and other institutions by the TPLF which signify the centuries-old identity, religion, and culture of Ethiopian people. This concern stems from the fact that the TPLF has done a lot of pillaging, looting, and destruction over the past eight months.

The Government will take all the necessary measures to ensure that these sacred places and other institutions are well protected and call on the international community to condemn this heinous act of the TPLF.

Office of the Spokesperson

06 August 2021

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Statement on preoccupying issues in Ethiopia and the way forward (August 6, 2021)

The situation in Tigray and the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire declared by the Government of Ethiopia, including the need to enhancing All-inclusive National Dialogue, have been the major preoccupying issues lately.

The Government of Ethiopia has been committed to the Unilateral Humanitarian Ceasefire that it has declared on 28 June 2021 in a bid to give respite to the people of Tigray and make use of the farming season.

Regrettably, the TPLF has failed to reciprocate. The terrorist group chose to launch new attacks in neighboring regions of Afar and Amhara, which left more than 300,000 people displaced and thousands dead. The Government of Ethiopia has been firm in its commitment to the ceasefire. However, the international community should stop giving a deaf ear to the ongoing atrocities of the terrorist enterprise of TPLF. The Government of Ethiopia could not allow the warmongering group to launch new attacks in neighboring regions and continue disrupting the livelihood of the people. The action of the irresponsible group is testing the Federal Government’s patience and pushing it to change its defensive mood which has been taken for the sake of the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire. It is high time to call a spade a spade and hold the terrorist group accountable for the death of thousands of teenagers that it is wantonly using as cannon fodders. Though the Federal Government of Ethiopia has left no stone unturned to give lasting peace to the situation in Tigray, it’s being forced to do none but respond to the renewed resolve of the terrorist TPLF to expand the conflict to the neighboring regions and destabilizing the country.

Concerning humanitarian access, the Government of Ethiopia remains committed to employing everything at its disposal to expedite the process and let the necessary aid reach the people of Tigray. The effort to give humanitarian support also includes the newly displaced people of the Afar and Amhara regions due to the ongoing atrocities of the terrorist enterprise of TPLF.

The terrorist enterprise has been playing the victim while keeps on hindering humanitarian access. The Government of Ethiopia once again calls upon the international community to condemn continued acts of hostility perpetrated by the terrorist TPLF despite the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire.

The government of Ethiopia also reiterates its demand that the illegal armed group active in Tigray at the moment desist from the use of terrorist tactics, covert and overt hostile acts, and acts of aggression. The Government of Ethiopia also calls upon the masterminds of the attack against the northern command to stand trial for their wanton crimes against the Ethiopian state, its constitutional order, and the suffering and pain their reckless acts have caused. The government of Ethiopia also reaffirms its commitment to ensuring accountability and justice for crimes and gross violations of pertinent legal norms committed by any party throughout the duration of and before the onset of the conflict. It also underscores the need to respect democratic norms and principles as enshrined in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance, while categorically rejecting all initiatives and external pressures to circumvent the constitutional order and the expressed will of the people of Ethiopia through the ballot box.

Regarding enduring peace, enhancing democratization, and the ongoing reform process, Ethiopia has recently conducted one of the most transparent, free, fair, democratic, and credible elections. Ethiopia believes that the election laid a strong foundation for building democratic culture in the country. The new government will incorporate members of opposition political parties and enhance the ongoing inclusive national dialogue to broaden democratization and boost national consensus.

With continued fresh attacks in neighboring Afar and Amhara regions, the intransigence of the warmongering TPLF is increasingly making every endeavor to peace unattainable. Thus, cognizant of its moral, legal, and political obligation to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state, the Federal Government of Ethiopia is being pushed to mobilize and deploy the entire defensive capability of the state if its humanitarian overtures for a peaceful resolution of the conflict remain unreciprocated.

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