Ethiopian leaders have stated that they plan to exterminate Tigrayans, according to an EU delegate.
Ethiopia’s authorities warned a European ambassador behind closed doors that “they are going to wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years,” according to the envoy.
The warning, according to the ambassador, Finland’s foreign minister Pekka Haavisto, “seems to us like ethnic cleansing.”
Haavisto’s comments, which describe his February meetings with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other ministers, are among the most incisive yet on the situation in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray area. They were there for a Tuesday question-and-answer session with a European Parliament committee.
Haavisto’s comments were dismissed by Ethiopia’s foreign ministry as “ludicrous” and a “hallucination of sorts or a failure in recollection of some type.”
According to the Associated Press, Haavisto’s special adviser, Otto Turtonen, the envoy “had no further comment on this topic.”
Haavisto has been the EU’s special envoy for Ethiopia for months. In February, he said he spent “two rigorous days in meaningful meetings” with Abiy and other “key ministers” on the rising humanitarian disaster in Tigray, where thousands of civilians have been killed and famine has broken out in a six-million-strong province.
While pursuing fighters supporting Tigray’s old leaders, Ethiopian and allied forces from neighboring Eritrea have been accused of atrocities.
It’s unclear from Haavisto’s comments this week who Ethiopian officials made the allegations about ethnic Tigrayans being wiped out.
“They genuinely used this type of language when I met with the Ethiopian leadership in February, saying they were going to annihilate the Tigrayans, wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years, and so forth,” the envoy stated.
“What is it if you wipe away your national minority?” Haavisto went on to say.
“You can’t kill everyone in Tigray, and you can’t kill everyone in Tigray. And I think that’s very obvious, that we have to react, because it looks for us like ethnic cleansing. It is a very, very serious act if this is true.”
In comments shortly after those February meetings, Haavisto had warned that the crisis in Tigray appeared to be spiraling out of control.
The United Nations. (This is a short article)