TPLF as the Cause for the Conflict missing from US Gov’t Narrative

President joe Biden

While unequivocally putting pressure on TPLF with the aim to disarm itself is the shortest path to end the ongoing conflict in Northern Ethiopia, Joe Biden’s Administration targets Ethiopia, Eritrea and Amhara region with sanctions 

The U.S. Department of State’s Africa Regional Media Hub had organized a telephone briefing on Monday. Bryan Hunt, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Africa and the Sudans, and Erik Woodhouse, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions, were the speakers in the event. 

They both discussed upcoming national security action (the sanction) related to the current crisis in Ethiopia. 

In his opening remark, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bryan Hunt, described the situation in Ethiopia as an “ongoing humanitarian and human rights crisis in northern Ethiopia.” 

The problem with it is that it is concealing that the conflict is not ending because of the TPLF terrorist group, as designated by the Ethiopian parliament. 

The U.S. avoided talks about the nature and cause of the crisis, as it is in a collision course with the US’ effort to make the TPLF relevant again as a political actor in the Ethiopian body politic. The support has been manifesting itself in diplomatic, political and even logistical forms. 

While the US gov’t thinks that the conflict threatens regional stability, it shuns talking about the causes of it- The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the activities it has been engaged in to make the conflict a protracted one. 

The briefing came after U.S. president Joe Biden announced, last week, an executive order to impose sanctions on Ethiopia – targeting individuals and entities linked to three state actors and the TPLF, which the Ethiopian government labelled as a terrorist group, as indicated above. 

The Ethiopian government, the Eritrean government, Amhara region government and the TPLF are in list for targeted sanction. 

 President Joe Biden’s administration said the sanction was introduced because parties to the conflict failed to end the war and resort to negotiation. 

The U.S. government is aware that the TPLF forces took the war to Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia after the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire in late June, this year. But it did not condemn the TPLF for its military activity that caused immense suffering in both regions. 

For Ethiopians, including the government, the end line of the conflict is known. The terrorist group has to lay arms  and criminal TPLF elements appear before the law to face justice for the crimes they committed against the Ethiopian Defense Force and civilians. 

The Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Africa remarked that the “These sanctions authorities are not directed at the people of Ethiopia or Eritrea.” 

From the views and opinions expressed by Eritreans and Ethiopians in different social media platforms, people in both countries do support the war on terrorist TPLF. The overall belief seems to be that the region’s peace would be at risk unless the TPLF forces are dealt with decisively. 

Trust in the U.S. government as a neutral actor has been dwindling after reports of alleged US support to the TPLF. 

this content was also published in Borkena website


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