Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Brazil Yalew Reta said that “bringing criminals to justice is not ethnic prejudice” and that the conflicts in the Tigray region, which have erupted since late 2020, are the result of a attempt by the Front for the Liberation of the Tigray People (FLPT) to destabilize the country.
As part of a coalition held responsible for numerous human rights violations, the FLPT dominated the country’s politics for nearly three decades, before the inauguration of current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018.
Winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end ethnic conflicts that have lasted more than two decades on the Ethiopian border with Eritrea, Ahmed used military force in Tigre to, he says, repel an attack against a military base. More than 56,000 people have fled to Sudan since this episode.
The Ethiopian ambassador told Folha that the attack was organized with the help of supporters of the FLPT, which targets the central government with several actions, including, he quotes, an unauthorized election.
“The FLPT passed its own electoral law, created its own electoral commission, and orchestrated a fraudulent and illegal election in which it won all of the regional council seats.” Reta responded to the report via email after the Ethiopian Honorary Consulate opened in Porto Alegre in December.
On Wednesday (13), the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reported that 80 people were killed in an attack in Benishangul-Gumuz, on the border with Sudan. Witnesses could not identify the source of the attack, although they saw military uniforms, the agency said. Reuters news feed.
In December, snipers killed more than 100 people in the area.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has promised a multi-ethnic state, but members of other ethnic groups are being kicked out of the government. Because? In Ethiopia, the multiethnic nature of society is proven to be something we cherish and which helps to maintain our unity. Therefore, the federal government is taking action to value diversity and respect the rule of law. The government’s commitment to bring criminals to justice should not be characterized as ethnic prejudice. And it should be noted that the FLPT has set up a vast network within the community to destabilize the country. Undeniably, the people of Tigray will be the first to benefit from current law enforcement operations in favor of a community based on the rule of law, freedom, unity and democracy.
How Ethiopia is dealing with the refugees who have left for Sudan. Will they be able to return? The government wants to ensure that our citizens who have crossed the border into Sudan to seek refuge get the necessary support – this is an issue that requires urgent attention. With the situation now more or less stabilized, efforts are being made to facilitate the safe return of these refugees, in close cooperation with the Sudanese government. So far, four sites have been identified to accommodate these returnees, as well as other internally displaced persons. The federal government has mobilized all interested parties to send humanitarian supplies to the region.
Why is the regional election in Tigray considered illegal? For an election to be legal, it must obey the constitutional order of a country. When Covid-19 erupted in 2019 and became a pandemic, Ethiopia’s National Electoral Council announced it was unable to hold elections due to the then unpredictable nature of Covid. The council decided to postpone the elections indefinitely. But in an act of blatant violation of the Constitution, the FLPT passed its own electoral law, created its own electoral commission, and orchestrated a fraudulent and illegal election in which it won all Regional Council seats.
So the FLPT faction claimed to have established a new government and openly stated that they would not recognize any of the federal bodies. Even more: he recalled all the representatives of Tigray in the House of People’s Representatives and in the House of the Federation.
Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize, but uses military force in Tigre. Because? If we look carefully at the reasons why Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize, we can easily see that he is very determined to bring peace not only to the country but also to the region. Although the FLPT orchestrated an illegal election declaring the federal government illegitimate, the prime minister chose to engage peacefully instead of using force to maintain law and order. But what prompts the Federal Council of Ministers to declare a state of emergency is the act of aggression provoked by the FLPT faction on November 4, 2020 against the northern command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces.
The attack was a very premeditated and treacherous act in which the FLPT ordered the ethnic Tiger members of the Northern Command to open fire on their comrades from the inside, causing unimaginable suffering, demonstrating extreme cruelty and betrayal. unprecedented. It is very clear that no constitutional order can tolerate such a level of treason, and it is the responsibility of the state to maintain the peace, security of its citizens and to prevent acts which could lead the country to de new unrest and instability.
It is important to note that, for two years, the federal government has used all means to thwart the military engagement against the criminal leaders of the FLPT. Prior to the attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Prime Minister invited the FLPT faction to participate in the reform process. All efforts of the federal government, including engaging neutral mediators, have been in vain. Despite this, the government continued to adopt a peaceful approach. I believe that the current situation is aimed at restoring constitutional order, guaranteeing the rule of law in the region, putting an end to impunity and illegal activities which endanger the Constitution.
The Prime Minister has carried out many reforms in Ethiopia. How did they change the country? Are the reforms linked to the conflicts in Tigray? Since the current administration took office in April 2018, the Ethiopian government has released political prisoners and journalists and called on exiled political parties and armed groups to participate in peaceful political challenges. In this sense, the federal government used all the peaceful mechanisms available to the FLPT to engage in the reform process. Instead, the criminal faction made a public statement to make Ethiopia ungovernable. The FLPT violated the constitution, funded and mobilized illegal activities to destabilize the nation.
Was there a media disruption in Tigray? Is humanitarian aid reaching the region? Since the destruction of the criminal faction’s militia, which resulted in a power outage in the Tigray region, relevant federal stakeholders have been on the ground to repair heavy damage. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the federal government, mobile voice services in and around Mekelle city, in addition to electricity, were restored on December 10 and 12 respectively. It must be clear that the government is not only working tirelessly to fully reactivate and continue to provide essential relief services to refugees, but is also committed to ensuring a safe and secure operating environment for response teams.
The high-level committee established to oversee humanitarian assistance in the region, headed by the Ministry of Peace, coordinates all national and partner efforts to mobilize and deliver humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities. The initial shipment of humanitarian aid items, including medical items, has been made to the region. It should be noted that the federal government takes seriously its responsibility for the safety and well-being of its citizens and is committed to ensuring that vulnerable communities in the Tigray region receive the necessary humanitarian aid. In addition, the delivery assistance of the UN and other humanitarian organizations is carried out within a coordination structure under the general authority of the federal government.
While there is a conflict, there is also Covid-19. Ethiopia has been seen as an example of how to tackle the coronavirus. How did the country act? The government has made concrete efforts to organize and disseminate information through daily updates from the Ministry of Health. A special task force was also created to propagate the need to stop public meetings and overcrowding on public transport and maintain social distancing. International passengers were subjected to a 14-day quarantine. The security sector complied with the measures approved by the Ministerial Commission.
The macroeconomic committee has maintained a dialogue with key industry stakeholders in various sectors, and the government has introduced measures to stabilize the economy. In particular, the tax exemption for imports of materials and equipment to be used to prevent the containment of Covid-19 has been one of the biggest reforms.
In 2018, Brazil and Ethiopia signed a cooperation agreement. The agreement was approved by the Brazilian Congress in 2019. Are there already any results of this cooperation? Ethiopia and Brazil have a longstanding diplomatic relationship dating back to the 1960s. Over the years, more than ten agreements have been signed, including the Cooperation Agreement on Investment Facilitation, Agriculture, Education. , science, technology and innovation. In fact, these agreements have facilitated the flow of trade and investment between the two countries. To further concretize the bilateral relationship, Ethiopia recently appointed honorary consuls in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Bahia. Recently, a ceremony was held at the Chamber of Commerce of Porto Alegre for the appointment of the Honorary Consul and we had a close relationship with the Governor and with large companies in the region. I hope that Honorary Consuls will provide adequate support to the business community to become part of the emerging market.
Yalew Reta, 59
Ambassador of Ethiopia to Brazil since 2018. Graduated in sociology from the University of Addis Ababa. In Ethiopia, he served as Speaker of Federation House (2015-2018) and Parliament of Amhara National Regional State (2010-2015). He was also head of the Department of Social Affairs and Labor of Amhara National Regional State (2010) and Head of the Urban Development Department of Amhara National Regional State (2007-2010).