News: Ethiopia slams US Ambassador's recent remarks as 'ill-advised' and 'uninformed’

Headquarter of the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Abeba (Photo: MoFA)

Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has criticized a recent policy speech delivered by U.S. Ambassador Ervin J. Massinga, deeming it “ill-advised” and containing “uninformed assertions” about the Ethiopian government’s handling of the country’s affairs.

In a press release issued on 16 May, 2024, the Ministry stated that the ambassador’s statement contained “allegations against and unsolicited advice to the government of Ethiopia on how best to run the affairs of the country.”

The ministry’s statement came in response to Ambassador Massinga’s address at the “American Gibbi” Yemeni Community School in Addis Abeba on 15 May, where he discussed Ethiopia’s current security situation, national dialogue, and transitional justice.

In his speech, Ambassador Massinga urged the Ethiopian government to adopt “a more peaceful approach” to resolve complex political issues and to release key political figures to facilitate much-needed political dialogue. He also called for an end to the detention and harassment of government critics.

Ambassador Massinga also addressed various armed groups engaged in conflict with the government, including the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and the Fano militia in Amhara. He called for their participation in national dialogue and transitional justice processes, emphasizing the need for a nationwide ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian access and urging all parties to engage in dialogue and seek peace.

The Ministry stated that it found the ambassador’s remarks to be “inconsistent with the long-standing and amicable relations between Ethiopia and the United States.” It emphasized that Ethiopia has been willing to engage in discussions with the U.S. on various issues such as peace, security, human rights, and democracy.

The ministry raised concerns about the ambassador’s statements, which reportedly highlighted “groups bent on overthrowing the elected government by force and known for blackmailing, kidnapping, and terrorizing civilians.”

The ministry pledged to work with the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa to “correct factual errors and inconsistencies in the statement” while suggesting “better ways befitting diplomatic decorum” that will not “undermine democratic processes and peace in the country.”

Despite its criticism, the Ethiopian government reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining “mutually respectful bilateral dialogue and relations with the United States.” The ministry’s statement highlighted the need for constructive engagement between the two nations to address the complex challenges facing Ethiopia. AS

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