Addis Ababa: The Ethiopian government said it “is forced to weigh its options and consider its relations with some states and entities” that it accused of “making unsubstantiated and politically motivated accusations of such gravity against the country”.
A statement released by the office of the Federal Government Communications Service says “Ethiopia can no longer tolerate the defamatory falsehood being spread against Ethiopia by various western entities, says the statement. “The bandwagon of accusations and slander does not change facts on the ground. The Government acknowledges that some venerable organizations and well-meaning actors could be unwitting participants in this campaign.”
On 14 October, Deputy PM and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen wrote a letter to the Irish government threatening to cut diplomatic ties if Ireland does not refrain from undermining Ethiopia’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The statement issued today comes in the backdrop of growing calls from international rights organizations and institutions on the fear of atrocity crimes in the Tigray regional state, where joint forces of the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies as well as regional forces from the neighboring Amhara region are taking control of cities and towns in recent weeks. On Monday 24 October, Rights group Amnesty International said that there were fears of fresh atrocities looming in Tigray as conflict intensifies and called on warring parties to protect civilians.
Similarly, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum said in a statement on 25 October that it was “deeply concerned about further crimes against humanity and a heightened risk of genocide” in the Tigray region.
Last week, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned civilians in Ethiopia’s Tigray region are at “heightened risk,” and called on the international to “act now to protect” the population.
Today’s statement by the government of Ethiopia mentioned no organization or individual by name, but said it won’t be intimidated to change course in its “defensive measures against TPLF” by “such outrageous allegations”. It further accused them parroting “TPLF’s irresponsible propaganda that the most heinous crimes could or might be committed in Ethiopia. They are not alleging intent or acts; they just say that there is a distinct possibility.”
The statement repeated the government is committed to ensure “accountability for violations of human rights and humanitarian law arising out of the conflict”.
Representatives of the federal government and Tigrayan authorities are convened in South Africa for an AU-led peace talks to find peaceful resolution to the two year war.
Yesterday, Chairperson of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed his hopes that the ongoing peace talks “will lead to a ceasefire and opening a way to bring humanitarian support to those who are in need.” The government says Ethiopia says is “committed to the AU-convened peace talks and determined to end the conflict peacefully and in a durable fashion”. AS