A lasting peace taking root in the Horn of Africa after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s operation to uphold rule of law in Ethiopia

Live on January 6th, 2021 at 2pm Geneva Time.

  • Key Takeaways from the very informative press conference at Club suisse de la presse (the Geneva Press Club)
    =================

    The Geneva Press Club and the Network of Ethiopians in Geneva for Action Taskforce (#NEGAT) in collaboration with the Ethiopian permanent mission in #Geneva have organized a press conference today (January 06). Ambassador Zenebe Kebede said the conference aimed at putting Developments in Ethiopia in the right perspective and correcting the misinformation circulating in social and mainstream media outlets regarding the law enforcement operation in the Tigray regional state.

    Read full summary by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia

Background
Since 2018, Ethiopia has been undergoing a profound transformation which cut across political, economic and social areas, under the leadership of H.E. Prime Minister Abiy whose efforts were recognized through the award of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Prime Minister Abiy made significant reforms to the country’s judicial system, economy and foreign policy.

On the 4th of November 2020, the belligerent ethno-nationalist group under the name of Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) started a violent attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces taking the lives on many, some in their sleep. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was obligated to respond with force to uphold rule of law and safeguard the sovereignty of Ethiopia.

It is to be recalled that, for the past two years, the TPLF has been conducting and financing destabilizing and ethnic targeting actions, causing the death and displacement of innocent civilians, with the intent to destabilize the nation, the government and its reform agenda.

On the 28th of November, the Ethiopian government has reported that the National Defence Forces have taken control of Mekele, the capital city of the Northern Region of Tigray, heralding the de facto completion of the military aspect of the operation to uphold rule of law. For the government, the priority now, in the Northern Region, is to guarantee humanitarian access, re-establish the delivery of public services, and apprehend criminals and bring them to justice.

A lot of disinformation has been spread on the legitimate law enforcement operation by the Ethiopian Government as it is now making efforts to facilitate humanitarian access, restore telecom services and infrastructure that has been deliberately disrupted and damaged by the TPLF as evidenced by recent press briefings.

  • Dr Gedion Timothewos, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Attorney General
  • Dr Daniel Bekele, Commissioner of Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and former Senior Director for Africa Advocacy at Human Rights Watch
  • Professor Berhanu Nega, Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party Leader and Professor of Economics

Program

  • Opening by the Geneva Press Club – Pierre Ruetschi, Executive Director Geneva Press Club – 14:00  
  • Introduction  
    • H.E. Zenebe Kebede, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Switzerland 
    • Kitaw Yayehyirad, Network of Ethiopians in Geneva for Action Taskforce (NEGAT)
  • Opening by the Moderator – Ambassador Minelik Alemu
  • Presentation by panelists

Dr Gedion Timothewos, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Attorney General

Focus Area: Operations to Restore Law and Order in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region: Reasons on the obligation to undertake a military operation, status of humanitarian access and prosecution of criminals who committed massacres in the Benishangul-Gumuz and other regions by Dr Gedion Timothewos, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Attorney General

Dr Daniel Bekele, Commissioner of Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and former Senior Director for Africa Advocacy at Human Rights Watch

Focus Area: Human Rights Aspects of the law enforcement operations in Tigray, in particular the atrocious massacre on the 9th of November 2020 at May Kadra

Professor Berhanu Nega, Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party Leader and Professor of Economics

Focus Area: Perspectives relating to the origins of the recent law enforcement operation in Tigray, its broader political effects on the Horn of Africa and its impact on the process and prospects of democratization in Ethiopia.  

  • Series of questions from journalists and participants by Geneva Press Club Journalist 
  • Answers by panelists
  • Conclusion by Ambassador Minelik Alemu  

The Press Conference is organized by the Permanent Mission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations and other international organizations in collaboration with the Network of Ethiopians in Geneva for Action Taskforce (NEGAT)

About the Network of Ethiopians in Geneva for Action Taskforce (NEGAT)

NEGAT is an independent group of Ethiopian volunteers living in Geneva, Switzerland. The group is engaged in advocacy and action towards the betterment of Ethiopia, its peace, stability and unity.

About the Swiss Press Club – Geneva Press Club

The Swiss Press Club – Geneva Press Club’s mission is to support journalists in and passing through Geneva. The Club promotes exchanges between Swiss and international circles in the fields of economics, politics, culture and science on the one hand, and the Swiss and foreign press based in French-speaking Switzerland and neighbouring France on the other hand. Since its creation in autumn 1997, the Swiss Press Club has received more than 30 heads of state and prime ministers. It allows to meet the Swiss and international press and counts around 35 media members (newspapers, radio, TV), 70 collective members (public authorities, companies, international organizations, NGOs) and 300 individual paying members with voting rights.

For Members of the Geneva Press Club, click here to follow the event