Africa-Press – Ethiopia. Addis Ababa May 28/2021 (ENA) The U.S. visa restrictions on government officials and any other contemplated measures against Ethiopia are not evidence based and threaten the cooperation against terrorism in the Horn of Africa, scholars said
A law and governance studies lecturer at Addis Ababa University, Getachew Assefa said the announcement doesn’t have sufficient evidence that makes the US government impose restrictions of any kind on Ethiopia or its officials.
As the requests for unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected areas in Tigray region and investigation on human rights abuses are appropriate, the issues have been addressed by the Government of Ethiopia and noticeable efforts and results are witnessed on the ground, the scholar explained.
The demand for cessation of hostilities with the terrorist TPLF group which provoked the country’s national defense force is totally unacceptable, he underscored.
“I think the reason the US has given for imposing this restriction is far-fetched. For example, cessation of hostilities cannot take place because the Ethiopian government launched the law enforcement operation in Tigray to protect the territorial integrity of the country by bringing back law and order. It explained that TPLF attacked and massacred members of the national defense force who were caught unaware as they fully trusted their fellow Tigrayan colleagues.”
The scholar argued that this kind of unilateral moves by the US will affect the smooth relationship between the countries and affects the interest of the Americans.
Getachew noted that the restriction will definitely reverse Ethiopia’s contribution to the fight against terrorism in the ever hostile Horn of African region.
“In the long run, this is a bad moral judgment on the part of the United States of America because a country that is doing its best in terms of international relations and cooperating with the US to protect the region from terrorists does not deserve this,” the scholar underlined.
Speaking from legal perspective, Getachew pointed out that the US request for the withdrawal of Amhara regional security forces is illegitimate as Ethiopia as a sovereignty nation.
“The international community or the US and any other country do not have the right to talk about internal security force deployment within Ethiopia. This is entirely up to the decision of the country. As you can redraw the administrative boundary within your own country, you can call one region A or B and change that next day and give it a different name.”
For the other lawyer, Molalegn Melese the US decision is unacceptable in light of the current principle of international relations and does not take into account the long-standing friendship between the two nations.
The United States and Ethiopia have decades of security cooperation in counterterrorism, he stated, adding that the new U.S. posture towards Ethiopia could, however, endanger the entire Horn of Africa and beyond.
As TPLF is designated a terrorist organization, other countries must respect the decision and work with the government.
“The Government of Ethiopia has designated TPLF as a terrorist organization in accordance with the law of the country.There may be those who agree or disagree with the decision, but the decision by the House of People’s Representatives must be respected. The law of the land must be respected. The US government has a responsibility to respect this decision because it is one of the obligations of the anti-terrorism system.”