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Ethiopia: Blinken Trip – U.S. to Support Africa-Led Solutions to Ethiopia Crisis – AllAfrica.com

The US government says it will support an Africa-led solution to the crisis in Ethiopia, only as long as warring parties cease fire.
Ahead of the visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Nairobi from Monday, Mr Ervin Massinga, Principal Deputy Assistant in the Bureau of African Affairs suggested the threat of sanctions will remain on the table, even though the US is deliberately delaying it to give dialogue a chance.
Mr Massinga reiterated Washington’s support for African Union’s High Representative for the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo, now tasked with prevailing upon the Ethiopian government and rebels to lay down the arms.
But he did say Mr Blinken’s trip to Nairobi will be to make it clear violators will be punished.
“Our intensive diplomacy there is ongoing,” Mr Massinga told a media teleconference on Friday evening from Washington.
African challenges
“And – but we – through the trip we would like to demonstrate that our commitment to African partnerships and African solutions to African challenges is enduring and will continue while we continue our intensive efforts with our African partners and likeminded leaders to address the difficult challenges in Ethiopia and certainly Sudan.”
He spoke ahead of Blinken’s tour of Africa from Monday where he begins the trip in Nairobi to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta and senior government officials.
An itinerary indicated he will visit Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal from November 15-20 to “underscore the depth and breadth of our relationships with African partners.”
The agenda of the trip will include ending the Covid-19 pandemic, combatting the climate crisis, “revitalising our democracies, and advancing peace and security,” a statement said on Thursday.
And Mr Massinga said Mr Blinken’s trip in all the three countries will reinforce the US stance on human rights.
“That partnership is based on increasing democracy and cooperation and that builds on people-to-people connections, fosters new economic engagements, and reinforces our shared values grounded in renewed commitment to democracy and human rights,” he said.
Horn of Africa
However, his visit will come as the Horn of Africa in general and Ethiopia and Sudan specifically face crises. In Ethiopia, a year-long conflict pitting the Ethiopian government on one side and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has seen thousands killed and millions displaced, as others face risk of starvation due to blocked aid channels.
Mr Massinga said the US will firmly support former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to lead the efforts of finding a lasting solution. But he did admit Ethiopia’s conflict was complicated
“We lean heavily on or rely heavily upon leadership of African leaders such as former President Obasanjo in the horn of – in the Ethiopia question to work creatively with African publics, African leaders, regional stakeholders to find solutions,” he said.
“The United States remains gravely concerned about the conduct of all parties to the conflict, including Eritrean forces, and stand ready to pursue additional sanctions, including against the government of Ethiopia and TPLF, if parties do not make immediate progress toward a cessation of hostilities.
“What we are facing, to speak directly to your question, is a complicated issue. But we remain committed to a diplomatic solution.”
Chaos
On Friday, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on the Eritrean military, the only political party in Eritrea and two other individuals for interfering in Ethiopian affairs. Both Addis and Asmara rejected the sanctions. Eritrean Information Minister Yemane GebreMeskel termed them as “immoral.” He said the “primary aim (of sanctions) is to obstruct enduring solutions that promote sustainable stability in the Horn of Africa… and to stoke and perpetuate the vicious cycle of chaos that it will then manage.” The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said it had not raised a complaint of interference on Ethiopia and defended Eritrea’s involvement in the war as an act of self defence.
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“The real and present threat to peace in Ethiopia & Horn of Africa region is the continued belligerence and aggression of the TPLF. We reiterate that the international community’s reluctance to condemn destabilising roles of the TPLF has emboldened the terrorist group,” Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said.
President Joe Biden announced a raft of sanctions at the end of September on Ethiopia but delayed their roll out ostensibly to allow parties to talk. So far, there have been little signs of dialogue coming soon. Instead, the TPLF have reached alliances with other rebel groups including the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) to promise further battle as Addis continues aerial raids on what it calls a terrorist group.
Read the original article on Nation.
Tigrayans Targeted in Fresh Wave of Ethnically Motivated Detentions – Amnesty International
U.S. Sanctions Eritrean Military Over Role in Tigray Conflict
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