Demeke, S. Africas FM Discuss Current Situation in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABEBA – Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonen and his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, have held talks over the phone today about the current situation in Northern Ethiopia.

The federal government launched military operations in the northern region of Tigray last week after troops loyal to TPLF attacked several federal military bases – a move Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said had crossed a “red line”.

Demeke, who is also Ethiopia’s a deputy prime minister, briefed Pandor about the “status of the ongoing operation of the federal government” in Tigray region, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

The government of Ethiopia is committed to upholding the rule of law in the Tigray region, he said.

The government intends to neutralize the destructive forces of the TPLF gang, free the people, and rescue stranded members of the Ethiopian Defense Force, he added.

He also reiterated that the operation in Tigray would end “once the TPLF gang, the perpetrator of inhuman acts, is brought to justice”.

The top diplomat of South Africa, current chairperson of African Union, said her country is closely following the current situation in Ethiopia.

“She expressed her confidence that the Ethiopian government would ensure the safety of civilians while carrying out its operation in Tigray,” according to the Foreign Ministry’s statement.

Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, also appreciated Demeke’s gratitude for the efforts that South Africa is exerting in the AU-led tripartite negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The two concluded their discussion following the congratulatory message of the South African minister to Demeke for his recent appointment as minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

Featured Photo: Demeke (L) and Pandor (R) spoke over the phone on Thursday afternoon [Image File]