Ethiopia looks to Germany amid EU funding fight

Ethiopia looks to Germany amid EU funding fight

“The EU says Ethiopia must grant full humanitarian access to Tigray before it will restore €88 million of suspended budget support.”

Source: Devex

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Photo by: Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia

With the European Union withholding payments to the Ethiopian government over the conflict in its Tigray region, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke to one of the bloc’s most influential national leaders Tuesday on improving bilateral ties.

“Good phone call with Chancellor Angela Merkel on national and regional issues,” Abiy tweeted, “including #COVID19 as well as strengthening development and economic cooperation between #Ethiopia and Germany.”

According to a German government readout of the call, the pair discussed “the domestic political situation in Ethiopia, regional security issues and questions relating to bilateral cooperation.”

Via Twitter

“The Chancellor emphasized the importance of a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Tigray region and the humanitarian care of the people affected in the conflict area,” the readout continued. “Humanitarian aid organizations and the media must be given free access to the Tigray region.”

In December, the European Commission decided to postpone over €88 million in budget support to Ethiopia as a show of opprobrium at the spiraling conflict in the country’s North.

A commission spokesperson told Devex that other kinds of assistance, such as humanitarian aid and development programs through NGOs, are continuing but that payments to the government will only be unblocked once certain conditions are met, in particular “granting full humanitarian access for relief actors to reach people in need in all affected areas, in line with International Humanitarian Law.”

Officials in Brussels were hoping that EU member states would follow suit. But Berlin has taken a different stance.

Devex asked Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, or BMZ, last month whether it agrees with the commission that assistance to the Ethiopian government should be postponed until the situation on the ground improves.

“The Team Europe approach in the context of the pandemic will have a much stronger impact on the ground in Ethiopia if there is full alignment with Member States.”

— A European Commission spokesperson

“The Ethiopian government remains committed to its reform process, even since the start of the conflict in Tigray,” a spokesperson responded by email. “To facilitate the structural and sustainable implementation of this process over the medium and long term, Germany is willing to continue supporting Ethiopia. The German government is therefore continuing its ongoing bilateral development cooperation programmes.”

“Decisions over budget support are for each Member State,” a commission spokesperson emailed Devex, “but the Team Europe approach in the context of the pandemic will have a much stronger impact on the ground in Ethiopia if there is full alignment with Member States.”

EU to dispatch humanitarian negotiator to Ethiopia after aid suspension

The EU says Ethiopia must grant full humanitarian access to Tigray before it will restore €88 million of suspended budget support.

The BMZ spokesperson wrote that Germany is acting in line with the EU and other donors, however, as Berlin has its own conditions to be met before further funds are disbursed, including holding parliamentary elections — expected in June — and beginning a “credible political process” aimed at resolving the conflict in Tigray. The final condition is the conclusion of debt rescheduling negotiations between Ethiopia and China.

“Since funds will, in any event, only be disbursed following parliamentary elections, the German government is taking a long-term view,” the spokesperson wrote. “We will coordinate closely with the EU on all further steps.”

At least one EU official, speaking on condition of anonymity, was more skeptical. “This is the issue with EU foreign policy,” the official told Devex. “If you are unified, you can do something. If you’re not, it’s like a shot in your own foot.”


Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Official German Government record
Issue year:2021

Chancellor Merkel telephones the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy

The spokesman for the federal government, Steffen Seibert, announced:

Chancellor Angela Merkel called the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali today.

The Chancellor and her Ethiopian counterpart exchanged views on the domestic political situation in Ethiopia, regional security issues and questions relating to bilateral cooperation. The Chancellor underlined the importance of a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Tigray region and humanitarian care for the people affected in the conflict area. Humanitarian aid organizations and the media must be given free access to the Tigray region.

They also talked about the economic and health situation in Ethiopia in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.


“ስለወልቃይት መንግስት የገባው ቃል”፣ “የከሰረኩ…” ልደቱ፣ ምርጫ ቦርድ ብልፅግናን ማስጠንቀቂያ?፣ ሽብር በኢምባሲው፣ “በኢትዮጵያ ዳግም ጦርነት?”| EF

1 Comment

  1. The people of Tigray are left to die from manmade starvation , voiceless weapon for anti tigray arab stooges. Sadly , the UN Security Council leaders and humanitarian organizations will act at a snail’s pace as we have seen it in the case of Ruwanda. “The United Nations was reeling yesterday after the release of a critical report into its failure to prevent the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that left 800,000 people dead – almost one tenth of the country’s population, by the independent. However, There are examples of the UN putting these words to action. The deployment of UNPROFOR in 1992 to Macedonia to prevent the Balkan conflict from spilling-over there is a well-known one. one of the reasons that UNSC has been delaying its actions in the conflict zones like this is that they fear the loss of their human power and financial resources. We could take a look the case about 10 Ruwanda-Belgian peacekeepers were dead during the Ruwandan genocide peace keeping misison. Unless UNSC act swiftly , we might see many more deaths in the near future . We all must unite , work together in becoming a voice for the voiceless and make the international community take timely action.

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