Ethiopia urges US 'not to meddle' in its internal affairs

Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Photo credit: File | AFP

The Ethiopian government on Tuesday called on the United States to stop interfering with the country’s internal affairs.

Addis Ababa's call comes one day after the US government urged Eritrean and Ethiopia's Amhara regional forces to immediately withdraw from conflict-hit Tigray.

"The immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces from Tigray are essential first steps" Antony J. Blinken, US Secretary of State said in a statement issued last Saturday.

Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry on Sunday responded saying that the United States should not interfere with Ethiopia's internal affairs stressing that as a sovereign state, it is the sole responsibility of the Ethiopian government, to deploy any security apparatus to ensure the rule of law across its territory.

The federal government will maintain the constitutional order by ensuring peace and security in accordance with its constitutional responsibilities, reads part of the foreign ministry said in a statement. 

"However, an attempt by the US to make pronouncement on Ethiopia's internal affairs and specifically the reference to the Amhara regional forces redeployment in the Statement is regrettable" the Ethiopian government said.

"Ethiopia has an unwavering commitment to honouring is international responsibilities despite the destabilizing nature of the challenges that ensued due to high treason of a criminal clique. Nevertheless, honouring international obligations and responsibilities should not be deemed by any entity as an invitation to dictate a sovereign nation's internal affairs" it added.

In the statement last week, the US state department said that the United States is "gravely concerned" over reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region bordering Eritrea.

"We strongly condemn the killings, forced removals and displacements, sexual assaults, and other extremely serious human rights violations and abuses by several parties that multiple organizations have reported in Tigray" said Antony J. Blinken, US Secretary of state.

Blinkon has called for an end to the crisis in the Tigray region, further urging for a comprehensive investigation into alleged various forms of human rights violations.

He said he has repeatedly talked to the Ethiopian authorities about allowing an independent international investigation team to the Tigray region.

The Ethiopian government said it is determined to bring the perpetrators to justice by conducting the necessary investigations.

The foreign ministry said the Ethiopian government would "conduct a thorough investigation" and bring those responsible to justice in the face of alleged human rights abuses. 

In this regard, the government said it has received support from international human rights activists and is ready to conduct a joint investigation with the appropriate international human rights bodies.

The US government said withdrawal of the Eritrean and Amhara Special Forces should be accompanied by unilateral declarations of cessation of hostilities by all parties to the conflict and a commitment to permit unhindered delivery of assistance to those in Tigray

The Ethiopian government for its part;  said it is working with international partners to reach those in need of emergency assistance and has so far reached out 3 million people adding that  the government is providing 70 percent support on its own and the remaining 30 percent is being provided by international development partners and NGOs.

Fighting between the Ethiopian government and forces loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) erupted early in November last year and since sporadic fighting has reportedly continued.

The four month old conflict has claimed the lives of thousands of people and displaced millions.