Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu briefed the Diplomatic Community in Addis Ababa today (20 February 2018) on the current situation in Ethiopia at the Sheraton Addis. In his statement, Dr. Workneh warmly welcomed the diplomatic community and representatives of regional and international organizations to the briefing session. Minister Workneh assured the diplomatic community that “the Government is undertaking reforms and concrete measures in a bid to move the country forward in terms of ensuring sustainable peace, national security, and widening of the political space.” He also reiterated the rationale behind the recent declaration of State of Emergency (SoE) by the Council of Ministers after a series of consultations and evaluations of the security situation in the country, which he said, was aimed at “protecting the constitution and the constitutional order, ensuring security and stability of the country and protecting the freedom of movement of citizens.” State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Hirut Zemene also explained the detailed accounts of the SoE declaration, particularly the powers and functions of the Command Post, established to oversee the enforcement of the decree. She further added that, the overall implementation of the SoE will be monitored by the Inquiry Board established under the Proclamation. Mrs. Hirut also, further reassured the Diplomatic Corps in Addis that “The privileges and immunities of the diplomatic missions will continue to be observed as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.” Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, in his keynote address underscored the fact that “The African Union is confident in the ability of the Ethiopian authorities and people to overcome the challenges at hand and to consolidate the remarkable progress made in the socio-economic development of the country.” He further accentuated the fact that, the “The Government of Ethiopia, like any other Government in Africa and elsewhere in the world, has the responsibility to protect citizens and their property, as well as public infrastructure.” He concluded his remarks, by laying emphasis on the fact that “it is up to the Government of Ethiopia, on the basis of its own analysis of the situation, to take the measures it deems appropriate” and that “the international community should act in manner that strictly respects the sovereignty and the independence of African countries,” in which case Ethiopia is no exception. Dr. Workneh further responded to questions raised by various Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps.
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