The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today (December 15, 2020) to the media. In his presentation, the Ambassador focused on current situations in Tigray, the diplomatic activities that are mainly related to the law enforcement operation in Tigray, and economic and citizen-centered diplomatic activities within the past two weeks. He also addressed questions related to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s recent visit to Kenya and the visit of Sudanese Prime Minister to Ethiopia.
Press Briefing Summary 15 December 2020
I. Situations in Tigray
1. Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Aby Ahmed’s Visit to Tigray
• The visit of the Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, to Mekelle after the end of the law enforcement operation in Tigray Regional State shows that peace in the region is returning to normalcy.
• Meeting with senior military leaders and the interim administration of Tigray, the Prime Minister underlined that the most important task left now is restoration and rehabilitation in addition to manhunting the criminals.
2. The interim administration in Tigray is establishing its bureaucratic structure in various cities of the region from the kebele to the upper structure.
3. Telecom and Electricity Services
• Infrastructure in the region sustained heavy damages because of the criminal clique militia’s irresponsible acts
• Mobile voice services in Mekelle city and Maiychew have been restored, in addition to Dansha, Humera, Maikadra, Turkan, Maytsebri, Korem and Alamata.
• Electricity has been restored to Mekelle city and surrounding towns, in the north western part of the country — specifically Metema, Humera and Welkayit.
• The relevant Federal stakeholders are undertaking repair work to enable unhindered service provision in the region.
4. Humanitarian assistance
• The destruction of infrastructure has affected the humanitarian response to the community. The government, for instance, has to build makeshift bridges to make the supply of food and medicine in the Tigray region a bit easier.
• The humanitarian assistance has been mainly covered by the Ethiopian government.
• A favourable environment is now created for making the aid accessible
• The delivery of humanitarian assistance lies within a coordination framework under the Federal government’s overall authority.
II. Diplomatic activities
1. H.E. Mr. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs has delivered his remarks via a pre-recorded video message to the UN’s two days Special Virtual Session held on (3-4 December 2020) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He expressed hope that the session would catalyze and coordinate a unified global response and pave the way for an inclusive, sustainable, green, and resilient recovery. The session was convened upon the request of Azerbaijan on behalf of members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in recognition of the need for a global response to the pandemic.
2. H.E. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia held phone conversations with the Foreign Minister of South Korea Her.E. Kang Kyung-wha and the Foreign Minister of Ireland, H.E. Simon Coveney. Discussions included:
• safety of foreign citizens in Tigray
• humanitarian assistance in Tigray
• the latest situations in Tigray.
3. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign
Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen briefed on Monday (December 07) the ambassadors of Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa on the current situation in the Tigray region. He appreciated the ambassadors and leaders of the countries that they represent for fully supporting the law enforcement operation in Tigray. He also briefed them on the most important tasks the government has been undertaking since the capture of Mekelle. The ambassadors:
• appreciated the federal government for rapidly concluding the law enforcement mission without compromising the lives of civilians
• affirmed that they are willing to support the federal government of Ethiopia in its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the affected people.
• reiterated that the leaders of their respective countries’ are committed to stand by Ethiopia noting that Ethiopia is an anchor of peace in the region.
4. State of Emergency Spokesperson, H.E. Ambassador Redwan Hussien, and Disaster Risk Management Commissioner H.E. Mitiku Kasa gave a briefing last week on Tuesday (December 08) to the media about the current situation in Tigray, particularly on the humanitarian assistance activities in the region.
III. Economic diplomacy and Citizen centered diplomacy
• State Minister Tsion Teklu spoke at the Ethio-Scottish Investment Forum organized by our Mission in London over the week. She explained that Ethiopia is on the right track in creating a conducive environment for foreign investment. Her speech also covered potential sectors for investors and government incentives.
• We have repatriated 82 citizens from Lebanon.