CONCERNS RAISED

Keep off Ethiopia affairs, PM Abiy tells international community

Says international community must refrain from any unwelcome, unlawful acts of interference.

In Summary

• British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in discussions with President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed concerns about the risks to regional stability and security if the violence in Ethiopia will escalate.

• Abiy on Wednesday said the international community should stand by until his government submits its requests for assistance to the community of nations.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks at a news conference at his office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia August 1, 2019
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks at a news conference at his office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia August 1, 2019
Image: REUTERS

Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has asked the international community to keep off matters concerning the current military operation in Tigray.

Abiy on Wednesday said the international community should stand by until his government submits its requests for assistance to the community of nations.

"While we appreciate and understand the interest of the international community to assist in the ongoing law enforcement operations, we would also like to underscore that this must be done in accordance with international law," Abiy said in a statement.

 

The international community has been mounting pressure on Abiy to review the military operation in the Tigray region.

On Tuesday British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in discussions with President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed concerns about the risks to the regional stability and security if the violence in Ethiopia will escalate.

Raab said there is an urgent need for a political solution to the situation.

But Abiy said while undertaking the rule of law enforcement in the Northern part of the country, it is within the framework of a state of emergency.

"We are undertaking the operation with due care for the protection of the civilian population and to minimise the humanitarian cost of the crises precipitated by the TPLF," Abiy said.

He said Ethiopia appreciates the well-meaning concerns of its friends within the international community but would stress the fact that Ethiopia is very much capable and willing to resolve the situation in accordance with its laws and international obligations.

"While we consider the concerns and advice of our friends, we reject any interference in our internal affairs. We therefore respectfully urge the international community to refrain from any unwelcome and unlawful acts of interference and respect the fundamental principles of non-intervention under international law," he said.

 

Abiy reiterated that for the past three years, in their efforts to frustrate the democratisation process in Ethiopia, the TPLF leadership orchestrated a spate of violent attacks by training, arming and financing criminal elements to target ethnic and religious minorities in different parts of the country.

"In an act of treason, the TPLF leadership launched a brazen attack under cover of darkness, against the Northern command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force. Using Traitors recruited from within the army, not only did the TPLF leadership cause the massacre of unarmed soldiers in the dead of night, but they also attempted to take possession, illegally of the entire military depot in what they themselves admitted and called a lightning preemptive attack," he said.

Abiy said to add fuel to the fire, the group went ahead and brutally massacred over 600 civilians in the town of Mai Kadra.

The PM said the rule of law operations carried out by his administration since the day his troops were attacked therefore constitute acts intended to defend and preserve the sovereignty and integrity of Ethiopia.

He said this will also restore law and order throughout its territory and bring the perpetrators of the criminal acts to justice.

Abiy said maintaining the integrity of Ethiopia's political and constitutional order compels them to take robust law enforcement measures against the clique of renegades within TPLF.

He said as a sovereign state, Ethiopia has every right to uphold and enforce its laws within its own territory.