Ethiopia Committed to Humanitarian, Human Rights Obligations – Amb. Fitsum

Addis Ababa, May 07, 2021 (Walta) – Ethiopia has always taken its international humanitarian and human rights obligations with utmost seriousness, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to USA Fitsum Arega wrote in a letter addressing the concerns raised by five U.S senators recently.

It is to be recalled that U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), along with Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), urged the recently appointed U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman to use his upcoming first trip to the region to encourage stability, accountability and a holistic approach to the devolving situation in Ethiopia.

“We are all deeply disturbed by the humanitarian and human rights consequences of the conflict occurring in the Tigray region since early November 2020,” the senator wrote.

Addressing the concerns raised by the U.S senators dated April 29, 2021, Ambassador Fitsum said Ethiopia has always taken its international humanitarian and human rights obligations with utmost seriousness.

He stated that the government has provided unfettered access to international relief organizations to all parts of the Tigray region.

The major obstacle to delivering relief aid has not been accessing but the belligerent acts of isolated bands of TPLF combatants that have attacked relief workers seeking to deliver supplies to remote locations to leverage the situation for their political ends.

According to him, the Ethiopian government has taken actions to ensure greater mobility, safety, and security for aid workers.

In this connection, the Government of Ethiopia expresses its appreciation for the generous humanitarian support the U.S. has provided.

However, the ambassador revealed that the Ethiopian government continues to provide 70 percent of the humanitarian aid in Tigray while the international community has contributed 30 percent.

“We hope that the international community will increase its humanitarian contribution to match the level of concern it has repeatedly expressed,” Ambassador Fitsum said.

Regarding the upcoming election, he wrote: “The upcoming June 5 parliamentary election will be a historic milestone in the political transformation of Ethiopia. The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, which is an independent electoral body ever in the history of the nation, has been established and is responsible for organizing, conducting, and overseeing the election and election related activities.”

According to ENA, He explained that 47 political parties, 8,209 party candidates, 125 independent individuals are registered to participate in the upcoming election.

“Political parties are free to engage in campaigning. The media engages freely in informing the public. The Electoral Board administers the electoral process with neutrality, impartiality, and professionalism. The judicial institutions operate independently to address any election-related disputes. ”

Yet the government welcomes and appreciates any support the U.S. is willing to provide to ensure that the election meets the highest international electoral standards.