Ministry Rebuffs “Baseless” Allegations Regarding Aid Workers killings

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry has rejected recent media reports regarding the killings three MSF workers in Abi Adi, Tigray, in June, 2021.

The response come days after the US daily newspaper New York Times issued a report titled, “‘Finish Them Off’: Aid Workers, Found on Battlefield, Executed by Soldiers”.

Since then, the report, which accuses Ethiopian army of killings based on an account of soldiers imprisoned in Tigray, has been carried by the other media outlets.

In a press briefing today, Dina Mufti, spokesperson of the Ministry, said media outlets and some in on social media are propagating the same report “without further investigation into the matter and the story”.

The spokesperson said “we need to put the records straight”.

As per the ministry,

Following the death of three MSF, Doctors without Borders, staff, the government of Ethiopia on June 25 2021, expressed condolences on the death of a Spaniard and 2 Ethiopians in Abi Adi, underlining that the area was where TPLF actively operates.

The government also expressed its regret for the death of the MSF employees suggesting that the deceased should have asked for a military escort to avoid such tragic killings.”

In addition, the ministry said the government of Ethiopia had formed a team to investigate the case.

However, “circumstances did not allow for further investigation since the area was under the control of the TPLF,” said the spokesperson.

New claims and accusations made against the Ethiopian government soldiers, such as the one entertained by the New York Times, “are baseless”, said MoFA’s Spokesperson Dina.

The is because the so called, “investigation,” was conducted by TPLF sympathizers in Tigray who claimed to interview Ethiopian soldiers incarcerated in the TPLF prisons, Dina said.

“No one in their right mind could seriously take such allegations and the words of soldiers who could be under every tactic of coercion and coaching by the TPLF,” he added.

The Ministry said no other professional method was employed to make such a conclusion than relying on the words of an unnamed reporter employed by The New York Times who was said to have contributed from Mekelle, Ethiopia.

“The government of Ethiopia notes that the case needs a thorough investigation by relevant and competent bodies before reaching such an erroneous conclusion,” he said. “The government, as always, is keen to work closely with MSF.”