Ethiopia to UN: ‘Adherence to the Principle of Non-Intervention’ Tweeted by PM Abiy

The following is Ethiopia's statement as tweeted by Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed regarding the recent United Nations Security Council meeting about the situation in Tigray. (Photo: PM Abiy Ahmed speaking at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington D.C. during a private reception in July 2018/Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: November 25, 2020

New York (TADIAS) — The following is Ethiopia’s statement as tweeted by Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed regarding the recent United Nations Security Council meeting about the situation in Tigray.

Adherence to the Principle of Non-Intervention in Internal Affairs

Ethiopia is a country with a long and proud history of statehood. It is one of the early members of the League of Nations and a founding member of the United Nations. it is also one of the architects of the Organization of African Unity.

Ethiopia’s commitment to multilateral cooperation and a world order based on the principles and norms of international law is firm, long-standing and unwavering. Ethiopia has always been on the vanguard of a rules-based international system as demonstrated by, for example, its position as a major contributor of troops for various UN and AU peacekeeping missions in various parts of world.

A fundamental element of the international legal order is the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states, which is enshrined in Article 2(7) of the Charter of the United Nations. The International Court of Justice has also repeatedly affirmed this principle asserting that “the principle of non-intervention involves the right of every sovereign state to conduct its affairs without outside interference…. international law requires political integrity,… to be respected‘. This principle is also embedded in the legal and normative order of the African Union.

While we appreciate and understand the interest of the international community to assist in the ongoing law enforcement operations, we would also like to underscore that this must be done in accordance with international law. This, first and foremost, means the international community should stand by until the Government of Ethiopia submits its requests for assistance to the community of nations.

When the Ethiopian people and government launched a comprehensive package of political and economic reforms in 2018, they were driven by a commitment to realize the twin objectives of peace and prosperity for themselves. As the external dimension of our peace mission started bearing the desired fruits, our internal peace was threatened by hardline members of the old order, and particularly of the TPLF who deployed everything within their hands to subvert the reform process and bring themselves back to power through the use of force.

For almost three years now, in their efforts to frustrate the democratization process, the TPLF leadership orchestrated a spate of violent attacks by training, arming and financing criminal elements to target ethnic and religious minorities in different parts of the country. In an act of treason, on November 4 2020, the TPLF leadership launched a brazen attack, under cover of darkness, against the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force. Using traitors recruited from within the army, not only did the TPLF leadership cause the massacre of unarmed soldiers in the dead of night, they also attempted to take possession, illegally, of the entire military depot of the Northern Command in what they themselves admitted and called a “lightning preemptive attack” on the National Defense Force.

Such manifestly treasonous acts perpetrated by a political party constitute a brazen attempt to take power by unconstitutional means. It is also a criminal offense per the laws of our land. Adding fuel to fire in TPLF’s criminality, 600 innocent civilians were brutally massacred in the town of Mai Kadra. An initial Amnesty International report on the horrendous crime has further been validated by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, which described the massacre by TPLF as amounting to crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The rule of law operations carried out by the Government of Ethiopia since the day our National Defense Force were attacked therefore constitute acts intended to defend and preserve the sovereignty and integrity of the state of Ethiopia, to restore law and order throughout its territory, and to bring the perpetrators of the criminal act to justice.

Maintaining the integrity of our political and constitutional order compels us to take robust law enforcement measures against the clique of renegades within the TPLF. As a sovereign state, Ethiopia has every right to uphold and enforce its laws within its own territory. And that is exactly what we are doing. We believe the measures we are taking against those who have taken up arms against the Federation are in accordance with the spirit and objectives of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance which prohibits unconstitutional change of government and promotes democratic governance.

While undertaking our rule of law enforcement operations In the northern part of our country, within the framework of a state of emergency, the Government of Ethiopia is operating with due care for the protection of the civilian population and to minimize the humanitarian cost of the crises precipitated by the TPLF.

Ethiopia appreciates the well-meaning concerns of our friends within the international community. I would, however, like to stress the fact that Ethiopia is very much capable and willing to resolve this situation in accordance with its laws and its international obligations. While we consider the concerns and advice of our friends, we reject any interference in our internal affairs. We therefore respectfully urge the international community to refrain from any unwelcome and unlawful acts of interference and respect the fundamental principles of non-intervention under international law.

November 25, 2020


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