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Acts in defense of the Ethiopian government gather thousands criticizing the USA – 11/07/2021 – World

Tens of thousands of Ethiopians took action this Sunday (7) in defense of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and in repudiation of diplomatic attempts to initiate agreements with rebels occupying the Tigre region, in the north of the country. The biggest of them was concentrated in Meskel Square, in the capital Addis Ababa.

The advance of the TPLF (Tiger People’s Liberation Front) through the territory of Ethiopia led the government to decree, last week, a state of emergency in the country and to ask the population to take up arms. The international community, especially the United States, has intensified calls for a ceasefire.

Some of the protesters, according to reports by the Reuters news agency, criticized the US government on posters with slogans such as “shame on America” ​​and “the US must stop sucking Ethiopia’s blood.” The White House accused the Ethiopian government of “serious violations” of human rights and said it planned to withdraw the country from a deal that gives tax-free access to American products.

Many of those present carried the flag of Ethiopia and expressed their repudiation of any dealings under the TPLF. “[Os EUA] they want to destroy our country like they did Afghanistan,” said Tigist Lemma, 37. “They will never succeed because we are Ethiopians.”

Out there

The conflict in the Tigre region started a year ago and has unleashed a wave of internally displaced people, in addition to the deterioration of the economic and social crises. Over the period, an estimated 2 million people have left their homes and 400,000 are starving.

International observers point to episodes of extreme brutality on both sides – the rebels and the state. The figure of Prime Minister Ahmed, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for three years, has also been questioned.

TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda questioned the expressiveness of this Sunday’s demonstration to AFP news agency. “To say that the people of Addis Ababa are fiercely opposed to us is totally exaggerated,” he argued, adding that the city “is a melting pot of races.”

“There live people with all kinds of interests, and to say that there will be a bloodbath if we enter the capital is absolutely ridiculous.”

The situation of imminent conflict in the country led the US to order, on Saturday (6), the departure of all non-essential staff from its embassy. The State Department justified the decision “due to armed conflict, civil unrest and possible shortages.” Countries like the Nordic Sweden, Denmark and Norway, as well as Saudi Arabia, gave the same order to their diplomatic representations.

On the same day, Prime Minister Ahmed again called for the participation of civilians in the conflict and said that Ethiopians must be willing to make sacrifices to save the country. “We know the trials and obstacles. To die for our sovereignty and identity is an honor, there is no Ethiopia without sacrifice,” he declared.

Pope Francis joined the calls for diplomatic efforts. This Sunday, he said that he is following with concern the news from Ethiopia, a nation “shaken by a conflict that has left numerous victims and a serious humanitarian crisis.”

The social network Twitter announced that it has temporarily disabled the “trends” section – or current affairs, the most talked about topics – in Ethiopia due to violent threats made in space. “Inciting violence or dehumanizing people is against our rules,” the statement said.

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