ETHIOPIA-Door open for negotiators
By Bullen Bala Alexander in Juba
The Ethiopian government on Saturday outlined their commitment for regional peace and said their door remained wide open for any goodwill negotiation that could help them solve the outstanding border disputes and other internal issues which had been wrongly circulated in social media worldwide.
In a live video press conference held in Ethiopia, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Dina Mufti,clearly outlined someimportant ongoing issues in three areas including regional cooperation, theDam and Tigray issues.
“Ethiopia always stands for negotiations, stands for peaceful solution of problems so any initiative by any goodwill is welcomed including our brothers and sisters in South Sudan.”
The aim of the briefing was to provide the correct information about news circulating on social media globally regarding Ethiopia.
Mufti focused his briefings on the law enforcement operation in Tigray Region and its aftermath, the Ethiopian-Sudan border issue and their position on the GERD (Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) negotiations.
He pointed out that since 2018, therewere changes that had taken place in Ethiopia and the (TPLF) Tigray People Liberation Front which dominated political and economic activity was resisting the changes.
“The operation was therefore, necessary because the leaders of TPLF who had been trying to sabotage the important political changes that have been taking place in Ethiopia since 2018, engaged in subversive activities and sponsoring various conflicts in the country finally attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force stationed in Tigray region and looted military equipment on Nov. 4, 2020,” he said.
He however said that the operation was now over and the government engaged in the rehabilitation of theregion and people affected by the operation, in confidence building, and relief operations in the region.
“The government is working with 26 international agencies in providing relief operations to 92 distribution centers,” he revealed.
In regards to the role of the AU on the law enforcement operation, he stressed that the issue was entirely an internal matter to Ethiopia and as suchthey did not see any role of an outside body.
Mufti said that Sudan and Ethiopia hada longstanding friendly relations, adding that they don’t only share borders, but also same history, same community, same cultural make up and cooperation.
He also revealed that recently when the Ethiopian government focused its attention on the law enforcement operation in Tigray, the Sudanese army encroached into Ethiopian territory, destroyed property owned by Ethiopians, and some of the Sudanese officials even said that they had ‘reclaimed’ territory they claimed was Sudanese.
He stated that his government hadbeen calling on the Sudanese authorities to reverse the situation, and stressed that it was not helpful to the Sudanese, Ethiopian people and the region at large.
However, he emphasized that the border issue should be handled by different mechanisms that the two countries should engaged in.
“The dispute should be solved peacefully, and war is not helpful at all. Ethiopia is calling to our Sudanese brothers and sisters to look at the big picture, which is peace and tranquility in the region and focus on development,” he stressed. According to Mufti, his country will always welcome the role of South Sudan and others who offered to mediate, adding that Ethiopia appreciates initiatives of all concerned countries and bodies who offered to assist in resolving the border issue