Peace & Security Remains Top Priority for Gov’t: PM Office

ADDIS ABABA – Ensuring peace and security in Ethiopia remains the government’s top priority, said Billene Seyoum, Press Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, on Thursday.

The press secretary said while responding to a criticism that the government is not giving enough attention to address security problems in the country during a press briefing today.

The criticism came after the country experienced ethnic-based attacks ewithin a few weeks authorities launched the annual green initiative’s tree-planting campaign.

“There seems to be an erroneous perception that by promoting Green Legacy and agricultural endeavors, the government is uninterested in addressing security challenges and mourning the loss of lives,” Press Secretary Billene told reporters.

These perceptions, she said, are “skewed and purposely misleading”.

“Peace and security continues to be a primary priority of the Government while destabilizing Ethiopia continues to be a primary priority of enemy forces working in an orchestrated and coordinated manner,” Billene added.

According to the PM Press Secretary, their ambition and intention of “enemy forces” is that Ethiopians “are always in constant animosity towards each other and therefore will let development efforts slip away.”

“But for Ethiopians, this is not an option,” she said.

The government launched the annual Green Legacy planting campaign on June 21 with a target of planting 6 billion seedlings during the Kiremt rainy season.

“The Government is also quite fixed and focused on ensuring development endeavors progress unhindered,” Billene said, “And Green Legacy is one of many national development endeavors”.

Launched in June of 2019, the four-year Green legacy initiative aims to curb the effects of climate change and deforestation in Ethiopia. Although the life span of the initiative is expected to end this year, the press secretary suggested that the annual tree-planting campaign is here to stay.