Tigray crisis: Don’t interfere – Abiy tells Int’l community

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has urged the international community to refrain from any unwelcome and unlawful acts of interference over the crisis in Tigray region of Ethiopia.

In a statement released from the office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday, Abiy said the country will handle the conflict on its own as his 72-hour surrender ultimatum runs out today.

According to him, “We respectfully urge the international community to refrain from any unwelcome and unlawful acts of interference, to stand by until the government of Ethiopia submits its requests for assistance to the community of nations.”

Diplomats on Tuesday said U.N. Security Council members in a closed-door meeting expressed support for an African Union-led effort to deploy three high-level envoys to Ethiopia.

Initially, the Government led by Abiy warned Mekele’s half-million residents to move away from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front TPLF leaders within 72 hours or there will be “no mercy.

This language that the United Nations human rights chief and others have warned could lead to “further violations of international humanitarian law.”

As communications remain almost completely severed to the Tigray region of 6 million people, and is not clear how many people in Mekele are aware of the warnings and the threat of artillery fire.

The TPLF dominated Ethiopia’s Government for more than a quarter-century, but was sidelined after Abiy took office in 2018 and sought to centralize power.

The TPLF opted out when Abiy dissolved the ruling coalition, then infuriated the federal government by holding an election in September after national elections were postponed by COVID-19. Each side now regards the other as illegal.

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