Foreign Policy: Aiming for a closer partnership: Baerbock visits Ethiopia

foreign policy
Goal of a closer partnership: Baerbock visits Ethiopia

A girl from the Tigray region of Ethiopia displaced from her homeland in Sudan by the conflict.  Photo: Nar

A girl from the Tigray region of Ethiopia displaced from her homeland in Sudan by the conflict. photo

© Nariman El-Mofty/AP/dpa

The Foreign Minister and her French counterpart’s trip to the Horn of Africa is about the peace process in the country. The people there suffer from violence and food shortages.

Germany and France want to cooperate with Ethiopia after the peace agreement for the troubled region of Tigray. It is important that Europe “quickly shows its face and offers a close partnership,” said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock yesterday before she left for a two-day visit to Ethiopia. The Green politician will be accompanied in the country on the Horn of Africa by her French colleague Catherine Colonna.

They want to talk about “how Germany, France and the European Union can support Ethiopia’s path towards peace, democracy and sustainable development for all Ethiopians, which began in 2018,” announced baerbock on.

In light of war crimes committed by the Ethiopian government and the People’s Liberation Front, according to the UN tigray (TPLF) were committed in the two-year conflict, Baerbock added: “We know from our own experience that the path to peace is seldom dead straight and that dealing with human rights crimes is essential for reconciliation.”

Conversation with President Sahle-Work

Baerbock and Colonna wanted to meet President Sahle-Work Zewde in the capital, Addis Ababa, who has been the first female head of state since 2018. Then, among other things, a meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was planned.

According to Union faction vice Johann Wadephul, Baerbock should also visit Tigray. “I think it’s important that Minister Baerbock also travels to Tigray itself to increase the pressure on the local actors. She was rightly in Ukraine at the scene of the most violent acts of war,” the CDU politician told the editorial network Germany (RND). In principle, it is good that Baerbock is finally addressing the crisis in Ethiopia. “For too long, the federal government has focused exclusively on Europe laid,” criticized Wadephul.

humanitarian catastrophe

According to Welthungerhilfe, around 22 million people in Ethiopia have too little to eat. “The humanitarian situation in Ethiopia has never been so critical since Welthungerhilfe started its work in the Horn of Africa 50 years ago,” said Abaynah Demeke from Welthungerhilfe’s country office in Ethiopia yesterday to the German Press Agency.

The current humanitarian crisis has several causes: natural disasters such as locust plagues, droughts and floods, but also health crises such as the corona pandemic and cholera outbreaks have weakened the entire country. Added to this are the many ethnic conflicts, above all the recently ended civil war in the Tigray region. In November, the central government signed a peace agreement with the Tigray rebels after two years of conflict.

Millions dependent on food assistance

According to the UN, several hundred thousand people died in the fighting. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 89 percent of the more than seven million inhabitants of Tigray have insufficient access to food. Almost every third child in the region suffers from malnutrition.

According to the United Nations in Germany, more than twelve million people in the north of the country are dependent on food aid despite the ceasefire. “The economic outlook is bleak and the climate crisis has become the new constant,” said the head of the UN World Food Program in Germany, Martin Frick, the editorial network Germany (RND). It is hoped that Germany will continue its great commitment to the people in the region in 2023.


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