Dr. Workneh briefs Diplomatic Community on the current situation in Ethiopia

20 Feb 2018

Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu briefed the Diplomatic Community and representatives of regional and international organisations in Addis Ababa today (20th February 2018) on the current situation in Ethiopia.

In his statement, Dr. Workneh assured the diplomatic community that “the Government is undertaking reforms and concrete measures in a bid to move the country forward in terms of ensuring sustainable peace, national security, and widening of the political space.”

He also reiterated the rationale behind the recent declaration of the State of Emergency by the Council of Ministers, after a series of consultations and evaluations of the security situation in the country, which he said, was aimed at “protecting the constitution and the constitutional order, ensuring security and stability of the country and protecting the freedom of movement of citizens.”

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Hirut Zemene, detailed accounts of the State of Emergency declaration, particularly the powers and functions of the Command Post, which was established to oversee the enforcement of the decree. She further added that, the overall implementation of the State of Emergency will be monitored by the Inquiry Board established under the Proclamation.

Mrs. Zemene, further reassured the Diplomatic Corps that “the privileges and immunities of the diplomatic missions will continue to be observed as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, in his address underscored the fact that “the African Union is confident in the ability of the Ethiopian authorities and people to overcome the challenges at hand and to consolidate the remarkable progress made in the socio-economic development of the country.”

“The Government of Ethiopia, like any other Government in Africa and elsewhere in the world, has the responsibility to protect citizens and their property, as well as public infrastructure,” he said. “It is up to the Government of Ethiopia, on the basis of its own analysis of the situation, to take the measures it deems appropriate” and “the international community should act in a manner that strictly respects the sovereignty and the independence of African countries” in which case Ethiopia is no exception, he added.

A Q & A session followed where Dr. Workneh responded to issues raised by various Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps.

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