Ethiopia has blamed the United States of spreading a destructive narrative after Washington and its allies sounded the alarm over reports that the authorities were illegally detaining citizens on ethnic grounds.
The US and other Western nations had in Monday released a joint statement saying they were worried by recent reports of the Ethiopian government’s detention of large numbers of Ethiopian citizens on the basis of their ethnicity and without charge” and urging a stop to all such arrests.
They added that individuals are being arrested and detained without court hearing and are being held in inhumane conditions and that many of these acts likely constitute violations of international law and must cease immediately.
It would be recalled that Ethiopia’s government had declared a nationwide state of emergency in early November after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, TPLF rebel group claimed major advances on a key highway to the capital Addis Ababa.
However Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Spokeswoman Billene Seyoum told a news conference on Tuesday that the measures were not targeting any particular group of people based on their ethnic identity. She added that detentions were based on credible evidence and testimony.