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AFRICA-Must stand with Ethiopia or risk destabilization

By James Atem Kuir

African nations especially the neighbouring countries need to urgently step up support for the Ethiopian government and mount pressure on the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Forces)to stop war in the horn of African nation to avert the impact of theconflict on the regional stability, Ethiopian envoy to South Sudan, Ambassador Nebil Ahmed Abdullahi said yesterday

Ethiopia has been at war with TPLF fighters since November last year. The paramilitary group and political party in control of the northern state of Tigrayrecently ramp up onslaughts on government and allied forces in the regional states of Afar and Amhara, a development that is feared may lead to full-blown war in Ethiopia with possibility of spilling over to neighbouring countries and impact of ensuing refugee crisis.

 Abdullahi stressed that African nations need tocall on the TPLF to withdraw from Amhara and Afar regions and recognize the Ethiopian constitution andcurrent administration led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to pave way for possible return to negotiation table.

“If the TPLF with its supporters succeed to destabilize Ethiopia, the impact will go to the whole region automatically. The impact will go to South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and all the countries in the region. Because those, supporting Ethiopia meant safety and security for each and every nation in the region. This is their responsibility and they need to boldly condemn the activities of TPLF,” he said.

Ethiopia is currently undera six-month state of emergency as of November 2“to protect civilians from atrocities being committed by TPLF” according to the government after the TPLF claimed they had captured strategic town in Amhara region.

“They have to, first of all, recognize that TPLF is a terrorist’s organization as designated by Ethiopian parliament and should not be considered at equal level with Ethiopian legitimate government,” Ambassador Abdullahi told regional countries.

“They should at the same time pressure the TPLF to stop war and withdraw from Ahmara and Afar regions. They should accept the legitimate government of Ethiopia led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed the constitution of Ethiopia then next after, negotiation could take place,” he added.

Regional leaders including President SalvaKiirMayirdit have offered to mediate between the Ethiopian warring parties that is nearly one year-long conflict which has left thousands killed and triggered a dire humanitarian crisis.Both sides have not responded to requests for mediation however.

Ambassador Abdullahi said there had been misinformation ofreporting on the conflict in Tigray by western media to create “panic and damage the image of Ethiopia”.

“The reality on the ground in Ethiopia is not reflected by some western media who put out misinformation. These western media are engaged basically against the interests and the will of Ethiopian people. This misinformation is meant to destabilize and make the international community panic and  todamage the image of Ethiopia,” he said.

“What we request from African countries is that we need to stand firm and together at this critical time for the benefit of our countries and need to show and stand in solidarity with Ethiopia at this challenging time. The African nationsneed not to be confused by western media propaganda. It is purely propaganda,” he said.

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