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Amb. Dina Mufti delivers fortnight press briefing
February 9, 2021  Helen Tadesse
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Spokesperson of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Dina Mufti, has presented
today the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing focusing on various Diplomatic activities of the Ministry,
the recently concluded 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union and the 38th AU
Executive council meeting, Various engagements by the Ministry and relevant bodies regarding the
Humanitarian and rehabilitation/rebuilding efforts in Tigray, including major activities related to
Economic Diplomacy, citizen-centered diplomatic activities and capacity building of staffers.

Here is the summary of the briefing, according to The Spokesperson of The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Ethiopia.

Diplomatic Activities
Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia had a
meeting yesterday with Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for
Africa. During the meeting, the two have discussed, among others, cooperation between Ethiopia
and UNDP, the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region, and the ongoing preparation for the
upcoming election.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen conferred over the
phone yesterday with Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation. The Deputy
Prime Minister briefed Lavrov on the ongoing rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Tigray.
Lavrov said Russian Federation understands and supports the effort the Government of Ethiopia is
exerting to address the humanitarian challenges in the Tigray region and added that his
Government is always ready to continue to assist Ethiopia in this regard.
State Minister Ambassador Redwan Hussein on Wednesday, February 03 received the copy of the
credentials of the Ambassador of Chad and Gambia to Ethiopia. They agreed to
strengthen relations in aviation and trade.
State Minister Ambassador Redwan Hussien, conferred with the UN’s envoy to the Horn of Africa
region, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga. The discussion between the two sides covered several issues
related to the law enforcement operation in Tigray and events ensued after the conclusion of the
campaign. Ambassador Redwan briefed the UN envoy on the federal government’s efforts in
rehabilitating and reconstructing destroyed infrastructure in Tigray and in delivering humanitarian
assistance to affected people in the region. They noted that UNHCR Chief H.E. Filippo Grandi’s visit
to Eritrean refugee camps in Tigray has also been fruitful for it has revealed the reality on the
ground contrary to falsehoods and misrepresentations from various fronts. Ambassador Redwan
also briefed the UN official on Ethiopia’s commitment to peace in resolving the Ethiopia-Sudan
border dispute.
African union
The 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union and the 38th AU Executive council
meeting was successfully held virtually
The fight against the COVID19 pandemic and access to the vaccine, where no African is left behind,
was the main focus of the Assembly, in addition to economic integration, ensuring peace and
democratic/good governance in the continent
Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia has participated in the
38th African Union Executive council meeting, where he delivered remarks highlighting the current
situations in Ethiopia. The Minister thoroughly explained the government’s efforts together with
international stakeholders in addressing the humanitarian needs of affected people during the law
enforcement operation, in addition to 1.8 million people who were covered under the Safety Net
program prior to the commencement of the operation.
President Sahle-Work Zewde has briefed the 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African
Union on Ethiopia’s unwavering commitment to the Union and Ethiopia’s stance to peacefully solve
the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute through the application of the already agreed upon existing
mechanisms.
Moussa Faki Mahamat has been re-elected as AUC Chairperson, and Ethiopian leaders (Prime
Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister,
congratulated him for being given the mandate to lead the Commission for another term)
DRC president, President Felix Tshisekedi took over AU chairmanship from South Africa
Because Rwanda’s Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa was elected as the Deputy Chairmanship of the
Commission, Professor, Hirut’s bid for the position of AU Commissioner for ESTI could not be
materialized. The electoral policy does not allow two candidates to be represented from the same
region.
III. Engagements by relevant bodies regarding Situations in Tigray

President Sahle-Work Zewde has visited hospitals and centers for displaced people in the city. The
President also conferred with community leaders, elders, and the youth in the city regarding
humanitarian assistance and security issues. She said the with the government’s
aggressive actions, the complete normalcy of the region will be ensured soon and she called on
Ethiopians to support rehabilitation and rebuilding activities in the region.
The Minister of Peace, Muferihat Kamil, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, David
Beasley, and the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, Catherine Sozi
completed a joint visit to Mekelle in Tigray.
– They have agreed to rapidly scale up a Government-led collective response to meet
the immediate humanitarian needs of people in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

– Beasley commended the emergency food assistance that the Government and partners have
already provided to the people of Tigray since the onset of the crisis, reaching almost 1.8 million
people with emergency food distributions. 26,000 Eritrean refugees residing in two camps have also
received food and nutrition assistance.

– WFP has accepted a request from the Government to augment the transportation capacity of the
Government and partners to deliver humanitarian assistance into and within Tigray.

– WFP has also agreed to provide emergency food relief assistance to up to 1 million people in
Tigray and launch a blanket supplementary feeding intervention to assist up to 875,000 nutritionally
vulnerable children and pregnant and lactating mothers.

– The Government will also review visa requests for international humanitarian staff with urgency
and priority.

– Muferihat said the Government will review visa requests for international humanitarian staff with
urgency and priority (to approve requests for international staff movements into and within Tigray)
and to ensure that humanitarian assistance in Tigray can be expanded and intensified without delay

– The Government of Ethiopia has welcomed recent positive engagements with the Government by
senior UN officials, including the Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, the High
Commissioner for Refugees, and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health
– So far, distribution of pharmaceuticals has been done to more than 70 health facilities in various
woredas of Tigray. An estimated 1.5 million worth of vaccines has also been distributed.

– The Ministry of Health has sent 12 ambulances, 11 pickup trucks, one refrigerated vehicle, and
100 computers to the region.

– To strengthen blood and blood product services, 952 units of blood were distributed to different
locations from the regional blood banks, and 2,803 units of blood were collected from voluntary
blood donors in Mekele.

– Numerous supplemental foods and female sanitary products were collected and distributed from
partner organizations.

– Currently, the Health facilities in the Tigray region are partially functional with 46 percent of the
hospitals giving service. The Ministry of Health is working in close collaboration with the RHB and
other stakeholders for the full functionality of all the health facilities.

– Together with the food aid provided by the National Disaster and Risk Commission,
mobile medical teams are also screening and giving medical and nutritional support to internally
displaced people in the region especially to vulnerable women and children.

According to a statement released by EthioTelecom
– Following the undergoing maintenance works on the damaged resources and by securing power,
363 mobile sites have been restored. As a result, mobile voices and fixed services have been
resumed in Mekele Wikro. Humera Sekota Adwa, Edaga, Hamus, Mytsebri, Hewanie, Axum,
Adishehu, Maykadra, Firewoyne, Adigrat, Adi Gudom, Korem, Seleklaka, Shire Endesellase, Agula,
Alemata, Betmera, Negash, Wukro, Maria, Michew, Dansha, Turkan, Samre.

– In addition, the statement said, we have given utmost attention to help banks restore
their services through availing Fixed Broadband Service In the region. In this respect, the service
has been restored for Banks in Mekele and Adigrat since January 2021.

Economic and CitizenCentred Diplomacy
State Minister Tsion Teklu received at her office on Friday a delegation of Russian investors
from St. Petersburg city. The Ministry, under the office of State Minister Tsion Tekleu, carried
outperformance of the recent movement to promote Ethiopia under the theme “Rising Ethiopia”
campaign.

Ethiopia receives a stamp of approval from the World Travel & Tourism Council (��������). WTTC,
which represents the global Travel and Tourism private sector, created the Safe Travels Stamp in
May 2020, to allow travelers to identify destinations and businesses around the world which have
adopted the global standardized health and hygiene protocols. Ethiopia is the latest destination to
be awarded the Safe Travels Stamp – the world’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp –
following major steps implemented by the Ministry of Culture & Tourism last year to ensure safety for
residents, travelers, and workers, and businesses in the tourism value chain, as Ethiopia reopened
its borders to international visitors.

703 Ethiopians have been repatriated from Beirut and Saudi Arabia.
Capacity building

The Ministry is giving a two-week long training to newly appointed Ambassadors and deputies to be
posted to countries in Africa, Europe, North America, and Asia pacific. The training focuses on
Diplomacy and International relations; international conventions, political, economic, and
public/digital diplomacy, and Ethiopian Foreign Policy, among others.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia has concluded on February 03, the three-day Seminar it
has been giving to the Foreign Relations and Peace Affairs standing committee of the House of
Peoples Representatives of Ethiopia. The seminar aimed to equip attendees with the basics of the
Foreign Policy of Ethiopia, the international rules governing relationships among countries, and the
duties of various departments in the Ministry. State Minister, Ambassador Birtukan Ayano, in her
remarks, underscored the importance of the seminar in laying foundations to create mutual
understandings between the two institutions on pivotal issues of the country.
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