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U.S. attempts another intervention as Ethiopia ends unilateral ceasefire

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Mr. Joe Biden sending his envoy to the region, Jeffery Feltman, as Ethiopia resolves to reverse TPLF military invasion and massacres in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia which the U.S. did not unequivocally condemned 

Feltman talks with WHO Director, former TPLF executive committee member, Tedros Adhanom (photo : SM)

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The U.S. Department of State on Thursday announced that Job Biden’s administration special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, is travelling to Ethiopia, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates. 

The officially stated purpose of this trip is  “to discuss opportunities for the United States to promote peace and support the stability and prosperity of the Horn of Africa.

He was in Ethiopia in early May 2021 and met with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, and his deputy, Demeke Mekonnen, among others. 

The United States has been pressuring the Ethiopian government for an end to the conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, now Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) took the war to Afar and Amhara regions,  a political settlement. 

The US stand in the Ethiopian conflict met with skepticism, even condemnations, as demonstrated in several rallies in the capital Addis Ababa and elsewhere, as its role is understood as an effort to bring TPLF back to power. 

Many of the statements from the state department  condemning the Ethiopian government came under the guise of the “humanitarian crisis” in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

Recently, the US government, after the USAID administrator Samantha Power visited Sudan early this month, has been pushing the Ethiopian government to open up a “humanitarian corridor” between Sudan and the Tigray region of Ethiopia when it is the longest route to the region. 

The US government also knows that Sudan has invaded a vast Ethiopian territory soon after the Ethiopian Defense Force deployed to the border region was withdrawn following what the Ethiopian government calls law enforcement operation in the Tigray region. 

The conflict started in November 2020 after the TPLF forces attacked several army bases of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force. 

The then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the attack. He tweeted : “We strongly condemn the attack by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front against Eritrea and the attempt to internationalize the conflict. We urge the TPLF and the Ethiopian authorities to take immediate steps to de-escalate the conflict, restore peace, and protect civilians.” 

Biden administration envoy to the Horn of Africa is visiting the region a week after the Ethiopian government called off the unilateral state of emergency it declared at the end of June 2021. 

The Tigray rebel group (which  dominated Ethiopian politics for three decades with financial, diplomatic and political support from the United States) took the war to the Afar region, where they massacred hundreds of civilians including hundreds of children, and the Amhara region.  

In consequence, over 300,000 civilians have been displaced from both regions. 

This week, the military wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) announced military alliance with the TPLF forces which the Ethiopian government called “nothing unusual” 

In May 2021, the Ethiopian  parliament the labelled both ethnic nationalist radical organizations as “terrorists” 

While the U.S. government is still pushing for political dialogue with the TPLF, the majority of Ethiopians do not want negotiation with the TPLF terrorists. 

If Mr. Jeffery Feltman’s second trip to Ethiopia is about pushing Ethiopia in that direction, chances are it will not succeed.  

Massive demonstrations across the country in the past few weeks painted the U.S. government behavior towards Ethiopia as a “colonial master” and it is rejected. 

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