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News: German, France Foreign Ministers in Ethiopia; peace agreement, human rights among topics for high level meetings

FMs Annalena Baerbock and Catherine Colonna with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Photo: PM Abiy

Addis Abeba – The Foreign Ministers of Germany and France, Annalena Baerbock and Catherine Colonna, respectively, arrived in Addis Abeba today for two-days official visit during which they “want to explore how Germany, France and the EU can support the country and its people on the path to lasting peace.”

According to the official itinerary, the two Foreign Ministers will hold talks on this issue with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, Minister of Justice Gedion Timotheos and the country’s President Sahle-Work Zewde. PM Abiy Ahmed tweeted that the “in-depth & fruitful discussions” he held with the two Foreign Ministers were “reflective of the strong relations Ethiopia holds with both France and Germany.” The two have already met with President Sahle-Work earlier today.

The German Press Agency, DPA, quoted FM Baerbock as saying that it was important that Europe now “quickly shows its face” in the wake of the peace agreement signed between the federal government and officials of the Tigray region to end the two-year war that devastated northern Ethiopia.

“Another focus of the talks will be the question of human rights. According to UN reports, most severe human rights crimes were committed by all parties during the conflict. The Ethiopian Government is currently working to establish a transitional justice mechanism to investigate these crimes and bring perpetrators to justice. At the same time, an international commission of experts has also been mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the crimes,” the statement said.

DPA’s report also said that both Baerbock and Colonna will visit a UN World Food Program (WFP) complex in Adama city in Oromia region, this afternoon, where grain delivered from Ukraine is stored. It is the largest WFP warehouse in Ethiopia with a capacity of 218,000 tons.

Germany and France supported the transport and distribution of 50,000 tons of the wheat donated by Ukraine for Ethiopia and Somalia to a tune of US$14 million each through the WFP. Germany covered the costs for the delivery to Ethiopia while France will covered the costs for the delivery to Somalia. AS

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