By T. Roble
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has called for an end to the fighting in Yemen urging Yemenis to ‘reason’ and encouraging dialogue but largely steered clear of any blame on international actors including Saudi Arabia-led coalition which has dropped thousands of bombs on the war ravaged country.
In a message addressing the people of Yemen posted on his Twitter account, Ahmed who has been praised for ‘wind of change’ in the Horn of Africa waxes lyrical about the scriptural acclaims of the Yemeni people and their land while beckoning Yemenis to seek peace.
“Why do you turn your children into orphans, and deprive them of enjoying a calm and serene life in a country that has always been lauded as a happy one?” Ahmed posed.
You are responsible and accountable for the state your country is in.
Noting that the war had benefitted none but instead destroyed a nation and her people, the Ethiopian leader further put to task Yemeni’s on ‘their failure’ to find a lasting solution to the four year civil war which has claimed tens of thousands of lives and destroyed one of Gulf regions’ most poor economy.
“What Yemen are you fighting for when you’ve destroyed every corner of your country? Why don’t you use reason, when you are the ones who were described as wise? Why do you teach the language of fighting rather than the language of dialogue, when you are the owners of eloquence? Why don’t you sit at a table and talk, negotiate and discuss what is best?”
Conspicuously silent on the role of international actors such as the Saudi coalition, suppliers of arms such as the U.S, Britain and proxy backers such as Iran, Ahmed seemed to direct all blame at the Yemeni people for the situation the country has found itself in.
“You are responsible and accountable for the state your country is in.”
The United Arab Emirates which is a key ally in the Saudi coalition and has been accused of attempts to fragment Yemen and curve out the south pledged $3 billion to Abiy Ahmed’s administration in June. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia played a key role in the Ethiopia-Eritrea talks which led to the signing of a peace deal by Ahmed and his Eritrean counterpart in Jeddah mid-September.
The charity Save the Children said last month said up to 85,000 children under the age of five may have died of extreme hunger in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the civil war in 2015.
“Come to a common conclusion that you agree on, in the interest of your honourable people who have suffered so much from the scourge of this useless war; the war that will only leave behind destruction and ruin,” the Ethiopian leader said.