Ethiopia: EU Should Carefully Consider Its Carrot and Stick Policy On Ethiopia

The recent one sided and biaes report of Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto reportedly warned Tuesday (23 February) that the humanitarian situation in Tigray region appears "out of control", after visiting the country on behalf of the EU.

What was out of control? And who is responsible for this and who started the so called conflict that EU is talking about? Who is sabotaging the relief efforts underway by the government and partners? Who is opening fire on peaceful students who are traveling to continue their education in their respective universities? I hope the EU will seek the truth and verify the rhetoric from reality.

"You have come to the situation which is militarily and human rights-wise, humanitarian-wise very out of control," Haavisto told journalists in Brussels. His report indicates that the EU is totally biased on the situation on the ground in Ethiopia's Tigray region.

One point needs to be clear here. There is no international organization or foreign country that is as concerned as the peoples and government of Ethiopia for citizens in Tigray.

The regional states, traditional organizations, local and international NGOs and the private sector in the country are doing their best to ease the livelihood of the peoples of Tigray who suffered a lot under TPLF administration.

EU officials need to effectively respect the sovereignty of the peoples and government of Ethiopia instead of joining or supplementing to the propaganda war that is being sponsored by TPLF and its sponsors in the diaspora. Misinformation will not tally with fully respected and age old partner of Ethiopia.

Tigray has been the theatre of fighting since early November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced military operations against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), accusing them of attacking federal army camps, Minister Pekka continues stating that Prime Minister Abiy has accused TPLF of attacking federal army camps in the Northern command.

Indeed this is not about accusation as it was clearly admitted by one of TPLF's officials, Sekou Toure that the operation of the attack by TPLF on the Ethiopian army was concluded in 45 minutes.

The EU needs to respect the country and its peoples who have shed their blood for the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. If this has happened in Finland or anywhere in Europe, the response could have been different

The EU official's talks about operation that was conducted by the Ethiopian army for three months, deliberately omitting the fact that the major operation was completed in three weeks "This operation has lasted more than three months, and we do not see the end," Haavisto said.

However, the truth is that the major operation is already over and the peoples of Ethiopia and the federal government are already busy mobilizing relief and rehabilitation resources for citizens in Tigray.

Haavisto notes that Ethiopia had failed to provide a "clear picture" of the situation in Tigray -- including the widely documented involvement of forces from neighboring Eritrea. Instead of talking about a clear picture, the EU official could have cleared it with the Government of Ethiopia, the Tigray Regional state officials and the Eritrean government on the issue.

"The question of Eritrean troops is extremely sensitive, so we don't get the clear answer about the whereabouts or magnitude of the Eritrean troops," he said. By the way, Ethiopia has every right to engage in diplomatic and military relations with any country across the globe and this should not have been a matter of EU's concern.

"What we need from the Ethiopian government is the green light to the humanitarian community to negotiate access to the Eritrean-controlled areas, to the opposition-controlled areas," he said. All concerned organizations and parties are already accessing the areas and peoples in need of relief supplies with no need for negociations.

The UN says that areas where 80% of the region's populations live remain cut off from assistance. If the UN also complains about lack of access to the needy population in Tigray, how did they manage to arrive to such highly exaggerated figure?

"We are seeing the beginning of one more potentially big refugee crisis in the world," Haavisto said. The point is Ethiopia is hosting close to one billion refugees from various countries and EU is not considering the sacrifices that the peoples and government of Ethiopia are making in embracing refugees into host communities.

"If you don't influence it now then the circumstances will build that there are more and more refugees coming."

In December the EU withheld some €90 million in aid to Ethiopia over its failure to grant full humanitarian access to Tigray which in a way is a means of putting a dictate on the peoples of Ethiopia, Tigray and the government and a deliberate attempt to frustrate the international efforts to end the plight of the peoples of Tigray.

EU's carrots and sticks policy on Ethiopia will only help to tarnish the relationship between the two countries because EU is undermining and is failing to accept Ethiopia's right to ascertain law and order in the country and wrongly brands the campaign for the rule of law in the country as a civil war and that the war is between the peoples of Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia.

The biased report by the envoy from EU never mentions about efforts underway by the government and partners across the world in helping to provide relief assistance and the rehabilitation programs underway on the infrastructure facilities destroyed by TPLF.

The EU is being carried away by TPLF's propaganda war on Ethiopia and report about civil war where there is none and is totally biased on the situation in Ethiopia threatening the country with its impending carrots and sticks policy on the country.

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