Ethiopia’s Embassy in London, the United Kingdom has exposed the five popular misconceptions of special interest groups hold about the current situation in Tigray State and the country at large which are widely believed to trigger their unjustified pressure and interference against the reform government.
In a press statement issued on Friday, the Embassy said that the special interest groups accused the Government of Ethiopia of using hunger as a weapon of war and issued unwarranted allegations that over five million people are facing famine in Tigray. Withstanding various challenges given the complexity of the armed engagement, the government has continued its efforts and centered on the activities in enabling the people of Tigray to return to normalcy.
“It is with these efforts in mind that the Government categorically rejects, in the strongest possible terms, any allegations that starvation is being weaponized in Tigray against the civilian population and that millions are facing famine.
The Embassy stated that food and non-food items have been delivered to millions of those in need in Tigray and thus far, the Government has procured 70 percent of the total 170,798 metric tons of food being delivered to the State. The distribution of the humanitarian assistance to Tigray has been coordinated with five humanitarian operators namely the United Nations World Food Program, World Vision, CARE International, the Relief Society of Tigray (REST), and Food for the Hungry (FH).
The press statement also refuted allegations about humanitarian actors’ limited access to Tigray adding that the Ethiopian Government has been coordinating closely with UN agencies to enable unimpeded, sustained, and secure access to the State since late November 2020.
“In line with its obligation to its own citizens and longstanding commitment to international humanitarian norms, the Government of Ethiopia has been working tirelessly to improve security in Tigray and ensure accessibility and the necessary conditions to speed up the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”
Due to the tangible activities, the government has been carrying out to cut bureaucratic red tape, 93 districts (woredas) in the State have the access to humanitarian assistance, it was noted.
Regarding false reports about Government’s refusal to conduct independent investigations in Tigray, the Embassy highlighted that the incumbent has consistently shown and proved its commitment to hold those responsible for any alleged crimes to account.
Independent institutions, including the UN, AU, and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission are currently undertaking investigations in the area. In particular, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have already deployed teams of experts to investigate the alleged crimes committed during the course of the law enforcement operation.
By the same token, rumors about Ethiopia’s objection to signing an agreement with Sudan and Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam are false. “As declared time and again, Ethiopia, while fully embracing its legitimate right to utilize its Nile water resources, has no desire to cause significant harm upon its downstream neighbors.”
Noting Ethiopia’s commitment to finding an amicable solution to the technical differences between the three countries through the AU-led tripartite process, the press statement stressed that the ultimate success in the dialogue depends on Sudan and Egypt’s full commitment. “Ethiopia’s willingness alone will not bring about the positive outcomes desired by all parties.”
Regarding false reports about the lack of competitiveness, inclusivity, and fairness of the approaching 6th General Elections, it was stated that the highly anticipated polls will arguably be the country’s first attempt at free and fair elections.
Whilst 37,408,600 citizens, of which 17 million are women registered to vote, 46 of 49 registered political parties fielding more than 9,000 candidates in federal and State constituency races. Furthermore, a significant number of domestic and international observers are being deployed to monitor the fairness and credibility of the process and outcomes of the elections that are set to take place on June 24, 2021.
“The Government of Ethiopia continues to be committed to holding democratic and peaceful elections in the country and wishes to encourage its international partners to bolster these efforts through tangible support for the ongoing democratic transition in the country,” the press statement remarked.
BY BILAL DERSO