Deputy PM holds talks with EU Special Envoy Peka Haveto
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen held talks with EU Special Envoy and Finnish Foreign Minister Peka Haveto on current Ethiopia national issues.
Discussing the current situation in Tigray, the special envoy appreciated the recently announced agreement between the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN to jointly Investigate alleged human rights violations in the region.
The Duputy Prime Minister reaffirmed the Ethiopian government’s commitment to prosecuting those involved in human rights abuses. On the humanitarian aid efforts in the region, the Deputy Prime Minister said the international community should support the government that still is covering 70 percent of the delivery reaching 4.5 million people so far. In some pocket areas where security problems exist the government provides humanitarian assistance in cooperation with the Ethiopian Defence Force, he added.
Mr. Peka Havisto, for his part, recalled his visit to Ethiopia two months ago. He said during his visit to the region the humanitarian agencies operating there have told him that access to the region has been very much improved. He, however, noted that in some areas of conflict, it is important to provide adequate assistance to those in need.
Havisto added that EU humanitarian agencies are working to provide support to the region, adding that comprehensive needs assessment is needed in order to provide appropriate support to stakeholders.
The EU Special Envoy also expressed positive support for the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray and called for the process to be expedited. Mr. Peka Hawisto speaking on the internally displaced people said there is a need to create conditions for the return of displaced people in some parts of Tigray before the upcoming rainy season.
Life in the region has returned to normalcy, said the Deputy Prime Minister adding that the government is initiating plans to have a wide-range consultation with elders, the youth, and the community in the region to make the peace process sustainable. In this regard, following the end of the ultimatum issued by the government recently, outlaws would have no option but to face justice.
Their discussion also covered the GERD negotiations where Mr. Demeke reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment to the AU-led process and appreciation to the new Chairperson’s initiatives.
The special envoy expressed his view that expediting information and data exchange before the commencement of the filling of the dam would be advisable. Speaking about the Ethiopia-Sudan border conflict Mr. Demek said it is regrettable that the international community did not openly criticize Sudan for occupying Ethiopia’s territories through the use of force.