AU Investigates Twitter Response Criticizing USAID Chief

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union (AU) was left fighting an image crisis after a staffer lampooned USAID boss Samantha Power using its official Twitter handle.

Power had called for a ceasefire to the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia, tweeting: “There is no military solution to the conflict. Humanitarian needs are already dire but they will get much worse unless all parties agree to dialogue and ending hostilities.”

But a tweet from the AU handle fired back in response, saying: “Good Lord. You mean just like the time you sat and talked to ISIS and Taliban? Ethiopia cannot negotiate with the TPLF terrorist group. How can a democratic cause impose a minority will on a majority?”

AU officials later deleted the post, and posted another tweet saying the response to Power reflected the personal views of a staffer.

“The now deleted tweet does not reflect the AU position, and is viewed as a serious breach of conduct. The incident is being investigated internally,” the AU added.

Last week, Power visited Ethiopia and Sudan, but said she had not managed to meet Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Foreign minister Demeke Mekonnen.

Ethiopia’s foreign affairs spokesperson, Dina Mufti, told reporters that the leaders could not meet her due to their workloads.