US diplomat returns to Ethiopia

Due to the escalating conflict in Ethiopia, a high-ranking US diplomat has returned to the capital Addis Ababa for talks.

Nairobi – It was the second visit of the US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, within a few days, announced the US State Department on Tuesday night.

A high-ranking UN diplomat on the UN Security Council had previously warned of a spreading civil war in which the East African country could “sink”. The messenger services Facebook, Telegram and Whatsapp have been blocked since Monday evening.

With almost 115 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the country with the second largest population in Africa. The multi-ethnic state, which has long been considered an anchor of stability in the region, threatens to disintegrate as a result of the fighting, and the central government has been weakened. The conflict between Addis Ababa and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which began about a year ago, has now spread to other parts of the country. Together with rebels from the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the TPLF is advancing on Addis Ababa.

The United Nations emergency aid coordinator also expressed concern after a four-day visit to the country. Martin Griffiths said he had met women who had fled the spreading violence with their children three times in the past few months, according to a statement. The supply of the people is still difficult, it said.

Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018. He promised to reform Ethiopia. He overthrew the TPLF, which had dominated the country for 25 years. In autumn 2020, the TPLF conducted elections in its stronghold of Tigray on its own initiative and attacked a military base shortly afterwards. The head of government then began a military offensive with the help of neighboring Eritrea. Since then, Prime Minister Abiy has come under strong international criticism. He is accused of war crimes and a de facto blockade of Tigray. The conflict has plunged the north of the country into a serious humanitarian crisis. (dpa)

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