Spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today to the media on major diplomatic activities over the week. Please find here summary of the press briefing:
I. Political Diplomacy
H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia received on Thursday (July 29) Mr. Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA). The new OCHA head is in Ethiopia to exchange views on the situation in Tigray, review the humanitarian assistance efforts and visit Amhara and Tigray Regional States. During the meeting Mr. Demeke,
- Appreciated UNOCHA’s productive operations that supported the national humanitarian preparedness and response capacity of Ethiopia since 1984.
- Pointed out that the engagement of UNOCHA, both at the Headquarters and Country Office levels, has not been forthcoming since the beginning of the law enforcement operation in the Tigray Regional State. In this regard, Mr. Demeke said inaccurate information that continues to be issued by UNOCHA about the situation in the Tigray Regional State through its statements and reports is of serious concern to the Government of Ethiopia
- Recalled the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire that had been declared to enable farmers to employ the rainy season and provide humanitarian assistance to people in need.
- Despite this measure taken by the Federal Government, the TPLF has chosen the road to violence and conflict to the extent of recruiting children to bear arms, he said.
- 170 trucks that carried food and non-food items got stuck in Semera for weeks due to provocative attacks by TPLF, even though around 40 trucks started moving to Mekelle last Wednesday.
- Noted that due emphasis should be given to about 220,000 people who fled from the Afar and Amhara regions because of TPLF belligerence
- underscored that OCHA should condemn and hold TPLF responsible for exacerbating conflicts, recruiting and deploying children, and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the people in need.
- Expressed his confidence that the new Under-Secretary-General will be transparent, neutral, and exhibit the highest level of professionalism in guiding the operation of the Office.
- Mr. Martin Griffiths, on his part, appreciated all the support extended to OCHA’s operations in Ethiopia and pledged to communicate well and work closely with the government of Ethiopia. He also appreciated the initiative taken by the federal government of Ethiopia in declaring the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire and noted that the declaration would have been fruitful had it been reciprocated.
- Mr. Demeke said the government of Ethiopia would do its level best to address the concerns of humanitarians and stay committed to the ceasefire, although new attacks by the TPLF may influence the government’s behavior.
- Following the results of the 6th General elections, Mr. Demeke said the new government which will be formed in September will launch a roadmap to have an inclusive dialogue with stakeholders and incorporate opposition forces in the governing structure.
H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, and Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada had an online video conversation on Sunday on the situations in Tigray. At the onset of their discussion, the two officials noted the historical and fraternal relationship between Ethiopia and Canada, which should further be strengthened.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonnen warmly welcomed to his office members of a peace corps formed by Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian origin in the United States. The Peace Corps represents more than 30 civic organizations in various parts of the United States organized to advance the interests of Ethiopia and address the needs of Ethiopians in different sectors. The group briefed the Deputy Prime Minister on their activities that contributed to the development and image building efforts of Ethiopia as well as their delivery of humanitarian support to those in need in the country. The Deputy Prime Minister, on his part, commended the valuable efforts of Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian origins in the US who have been able to register tangible results that advanced Ethiopia’s interests so far.
USAID Administrator, Ms. Samantha Power has arrived in Ethiopia on Wednesday. She has held talks with the Minister of Peace, H.E. Mufariat Kamil on access to humanitarian support to Tigray. The Minister has briefed Ms. Samantha on the destructive efforts of the TPLF that blocked humanitarian aid and caused new displacements on the people of Afar and Amhara.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Italy, H.E. Demitu Hambisa had a fruitful discussion yesterday on current domestic and regional issues regarding Ethiopia with H.E. Adolfo Urso, president of the Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic of Italy. The discussion between the two sides highlighted the destructive activities of the TPLF group, issues of common concern on the Horn of Africa as well as the situation regarding the GERD.
II. Economic Diplomacy
Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association and the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have signed a MoU that establishes Ethiopia-Algeria Business Council today. The establishment of the Business Council is expected to enhance comprehensive economic ties between Ethiopia and Algeria.
Ethio-Engineering Group (EEG) and the Algerian GISB Group held a successful virtual Investment meeting on 29 July 2021 hosted by the Ethiopian Embassy in Algiers. In the discussion between Ethio-Engineering Group, a government owned Industrial enterprise, and GISB, an Algerian Industrial group, potential cooperation and Investment areas are identified.
Discussions were held to promote wheat production in our country using modern technology from Israeli anchor company Miterlli.
The Joint Tourism Promotion and Marketing Committee meeting was held over the week. Dissuasion was made on a prepared investment profile which will be a major source of information for investors investing in the tourism sector at home and abroad. The major performance of the 2013 fiscal year has also been evaluated.
As of August 4, 2021 – 157 trucks of humanitarian assistance have reached Mekelle. The trucks containing food & non-food items include assistance from WFP and UN agencies like UNICEF, UNFPA & other Int’l NGOs operating in the delivery of food and non-food assistance.
The TPLF has wasted the opportunity furnished by the Unilateral Humanitarian Ceasefire for peace, continued fighting in Amhara and Afar regions obstructing humanitarian aid heading to Tigray.
Despite the destructive actions of the TPLF, the Government of Ethiopia stays committed to the Ceasefire, supports more than 300,000 displaced people in newly launched attacks by the TPLF, and will continue cooperating with humanitarian operators in addressing the needs of the people in Tigray. But we expect the international community to influence the group to respect the ceasefire.
Following the establishment of the new government in September, the government will start to implement the roadmap it has been preparing for conducting an all-inclusive dialogue with opposition parties in Tigray, religious leaders, women, youth, and other constituents from the region.
Iv . Citizencentred Diplomacy
Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian origins residing in various countries have continued contributions to the GERD. In this regard, Ethiopians in Juba have pledged to donate $80,000 while those in the USA have donated 120,000 within 24 hrs.
Staffers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs donated blood to the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and affirmed their commitment to further provide all the necessary support to the protectors and defenders of the country.
Ethiopians living in Sudan have made public demonstrations vowing to support the campaign in the northern part of the country in every way possible. The demonstrators rejected the undue external pressures on the government of Ethiopia and other meddlings in the internal affairs of the country.
Members of the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities in Germany made a rally under the theme, “peace and stability for the Horn of Africa”.
533 Ethiopians have been repatriated over the week. Of these 117 were from Kenya, 58 from Djibouti, 144 from Tanzania, 133 from Puntland, 79 from Yemen 1 from Mogadishu and 1 from Tunisia.