US State Department briefing on Senator Coons’s trip to Ethiopia

Source: State Department

[Only the parts of the briefing relating to Ethiopia have been extracted]

It follows these Tweets from Secretary of State Joe Blinken on 23 March 2021

Secretary Antony Blinken @SecBlinken @SecBlinken
I remain concerned by the conflict’s impact on the people of Tigray and the stability of the region.

MS PORTER: Thanks for your questions, Matt. I’ll start off by saying we can definitely take your question in regards to Senator Coons and his visit to Ethiopia. For the other two, we’ll definitely have to get back to you.

But just to talk about that trip, Senator Coons had a successful visit when he traveled to Ethiopia, and obviously on behalf of President Biden. He went there, obviously, as a presidential emissary and expressed concerns – he expressed our concern for the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

And the reason we’re calling it successful is because Prime Minister Abiy publicly committed to deepening in a meaningful dialogue with the international community to address this conflict in Tigray, and he also shared publicly that he condemns the human rights violations that are going on. And again, we are grateful for Senator Coons traveling on our behalf to Ethiopia…

MS PORTER: Thanks for your question. I definitely want to reiterate that Senator Coons had successful meetings in Ethiopia, and they were productive. I mean, him meeting with Prime Minister Abiy on a range of issues, including making sure that Prime Minister Abiy’s views on human rights violations were public, that was – underscored how important those meetings were and how much we appreciate the senator for taking his time to travel there.

And we’ll also say that Prime Minister Abiy has consistently reiterated that – his government’s commitment to provide unhindered humanitarian access and to also move forward the notification system for humanitarian operators to travel throughout Tigray was welcomed from Senator Coons. And again, we will continue to underscore that – Prime Minister Abiy’s humanitarian operators’ need for both extended visas as well as to continue to progress on outstanding issues as well. So again, this was just a first step, but it was a first step in the right direction. So if there are any updates later, we’ll be sure to make those available.



  1. Deeply cocerned…….is not working
    The USA should not give hope not exist!!!
    Because of Deeply cocerned tigraians killed every where
    By amhara ethiopian and eritrean troops
    ‘They day we will see if America can save you!
    Yes true America things make worest for Tigrayans!!!

  2. This is very beutiful that the US is coming back in the lead to make help changing mismanagement and shape that democracy, freedom, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and Good governence är on place in the horn and Else where . I Think the West is doing a good job but this is not enough. The perperators like Isayas afeworki and abiy ahmed has to put to justice and step down for good. Having Said this, thank you,Martin Plaut . You are an outstanding and grave journalist, not to mention that you are compassionate and modern.

  3. US diplomats please get an English translation of Abiy’s entire speech to Parliament to find out what kind of man you are dealing with. It’s not how he talks with you. He will not make peace with TPLF period, will not stop Eritrean troops, and will not stop Amhara militias from ethnic cleansing of western Tigray. And, he dares the EU and US to do anything about it. “I know how to talk to them” he tells his countrymen.

  4. I got Abiys message to the parliament translated from Amharic, a speech he made after the pressure from the US. He is filibustering in his usual way. He is incorporated Trump and Isaias themselves. His body gesture and som dirty words that slipped says more than the content of his speech. He never showed any empathy for the raped women of Tigray. In fact he said “the women were raped by a human equipment, but our arm was violated by Bayonnes”. Can one find any thing worse than this statments by some one who got nobel peace prize for being feminist and peaceful. This is vulgar and cheap statment.

    Filibustering is his technic. He already said in his speech in Amharic, the Eritrean are there to continue rape and loot. The world should wake up and take immediate measures before the rain period. Get rid of this man, other wise there will be more havoc in the whole region with Hunger, criminality, rape, geo political disorder, ethnic cleansing, and more, and more. The world can not afford an influx of millions of refugees every where because of one mans ambition to be king.

    He even claimed in his speech he has brought rain to the region of Gojam and North Shoa. this is maddness.

  5. Tigrayans civilians are still massuring by the Amhara and Eritrean and the EDF forces. Force is needed for the Eritreans to leave the country.

  6. Senator Coons,
    Thank you very much for your humanitarian effort and for standing for a true democracy. The majority of Ethiopians ( the long marginalized ) appreciate and say to you keep on the good work as it is their only hope for equality, justice and better life for the future of this world!

    One thing though. What Abiy agreed with you and what he professes publicly ( in Amharic ) is completely different. In his public version, he is in complete denial of the ethnic cleansing he is busy with in Tigre region; he relegated to ‘much exaggerated propaganda’. He defended Isais’s aggression as self defense stating that hadn’t Isias taken step, TPLF would have invaded Eritrea. As the UN verifies, Eritrean army that were supposed to exit Ethiopia – a very important pre-condition lied by UN, EU, ENGLAND, USA – are at Sudan border. These are what he has done in return to a feeble admittance of atrocities he offered – a tactic meant to appease the west.

    Doesn’t these clearly show his unwillingness to participate in a peaceful democratic dialog?
    One other thing. Abiy, the spokes person of the Amara-elites, is not giving up his agenda – his kingdom long foretold. The following actions, he will defiantly execute in the coming days, double verifies his policy.
    • To avert the eyes of the world from Tigre region, he will escalate the Sudan conflict.
    • He will continue admitting negligible atrocities here and there meant to appease the west.
    • He will start a fake court process with in the country and parade few poor soldiers as the atrocers, loudly arguing ‘ Ethiopia is a sovereign country and is taking care of its matters’.
    Abiy will execute the above actions plus many others ( the devil he is can only contrive ) for only and only one purpose. TO BUY TIME; FOR TWO MONTHES; the coming already fraudulent election date.

    In this election, Abiy is expecting huge win for his none sense Madamar party – a front for returning the Amara superiority of heister days! This win is to be realized through his finger-picked so called presidents of regions. For example, Mustafe of the Somali region has been preparing for this fraudulent election ( at match 2 speed )& for over 6 months and it seems the tactic he is using is definitely working – the guarantee win of Madamar and only ticket to stay in power. Before delving into the details of the tactics, let me summarize the state and conditions existing in the Somali region right now which I hope will assist the reader in understanding the importance of what is going-on right this minute!

    • People here are very much battle-weary: they have been the center of conflicts and related wars ( in east Africa ) for the last three generation.

    • They are the poorest and least educated of all Ethiopians. They have been deprived (education) by the Amara colonialists for ions and the few hand-countable who slipped through the net had been brain-drained ( all migrated to Somalia ) by the consecutive Somalia gov’ts.

    • Thus, there was no any meaning-full group struggling for the cause of the mass. The few times resistance to Ethiopian-colonialism was tried – like the 1956 GARI-STRUGGLE, the 1963 GEESH-STRUGGLE and the latest 1977 WSLF-STRUGGLE – all failed because of the interference of Somalia whose agenda was different than the masse’s question. The last one – WSLF’s – failure was even due to the military might of the then WARSAW pact which NATO gave the go_ ticket – the first ever conspiracy in history the super powers agreed upon!

    • The people of this region got their first chance ever for being EQUAL-ETHIOPIANS during the tenure of TPLF led rule – the advent of the federal system. This first glimpse of equality was very far from the self- determination realizer advertised by the rulers at the helm. People were never given the chance to elect their administrators. More than a dozen presidents – each one fulfilling the interests of his masters – were given the steering from Addis Ababa. As such, for the past 3 decades, the least development of all Ethiopian regions took place here with one exception though – the equality for education in which thousands graduated from colleges for the first time in the history of the region! These are the youth who now fill the public service duty. Every ounce of development achieved so far is to their credit.

    • There has been a full blown genocide were thousands of innocent people ( regardless of age, gender and political affiliations ) lost their lives! This happened during the tenure of the late Abdi Mohamud, with the finance provided by the western countries – in their war against terror! This was reported to the as a taken-care business of terrorits, I believe, and no one in the world looked back. If the west and the UN are true to their ideals, I am sure it will be included in the current investigation of atrocities in Ethiopia!

    In these unfortunate and sorrowful context, Mustafe is using the following horrific divide and rule principles to ensure the win of Madamar and thus save his current position and that of the autocratic Abiy.

    • He is using to the utmost the divide and rule pillar – creating tribal based conflicts: the cursed disease all Somalis suffer from: the same anti-peace and anti-progress the world is paying fortunes to eradicate in Somalia. These prevents people to unite and see where their common interest – EQUALITY and JUSTICE lies. They are in trenches for each other and do not totally realize what is at stack as ethnicity!

    • Support for his Madamar is enforced by gun-point and by constantly remainding the poor rural people the obliteration of yesterday and the remainder of the ever present possibility of jailing to who ever else uttering a word out of line.

    • Over majority of the people- with the precious chance of being employed – mostly the educated youngsters ( less than 30% of them ) rely for bread on gov’t pay. That is to say for every job there is 7 awaiting in line. This is the only group that has any inkling for what is going in their country – Ethiopia: The only group that could go beyond tribalism and have a conversation about the dear common need of their people – EQUALITY and JUSTICE as Ethiopians: This group, that never had neither a guiding elders ( gone with the brain-drain mentioned above ) nor true leaders to follow, are kept in line with the threat of cutting their bread!

    • To advance his division of the people, Mustafe patronizes and uses the cultural chieftains – a bunch of non entities well versed in the pursuit of their interests from whom ever rules. This gov’t owns minds and souls of these so called leaders of the people by bestowing attractive job contracts ( officials get nice kick backs ) and appropriation of illegal city lands whose real owners have been displaced long ago.

    To list all sinister divide and rule acts Mustafe uses is beyond a comment. But let me add few other tricks used all over the regions of Ethiopia by Abiy and his regional stooges.

    • At the start of Abiy’s rule, an edict for all opposition groups to enter back their home land – Ethiopia – was declared. A chosen reactionary people were accepted as leaders of opposition movements – some non- existent but in name.

    In Somali region WSLF – an armed struggle famous in the 1970’s and disintegrated by Somalia in the 1980’s and ONLF were admitted. WSLF had no record of struggle since then – an almost 40 year period. Despite that glaring fact, as soon as they came in, instead of introducing its programs to the public and thus continuing their peaceful struggle, the bogus leaders took hefty sums of money from Abiy and completely disbanded. Among those bogus leaders, some are the richest traders in the region today – a condition of their disintegration agreement. ONLF, on the other hand, was treated differently. They were treated to a small petty-cash and other amenities – two pick-ups and permission to advertise their names on public transport like bajaajs. That was not for long. As soon as Mustafe figured out their weak point – tribalism – they were cut dry.

    • As soon as the smart guys – Abiy’s cronies realized they need opposition parties in the coming election – to legitimize their Madamar stuff – ONLF, WSLF and many other fabricated ( their purpose explained down ) were invigorated again and allowed to participate in the election by the completely one-sided so called Election Board.

    • I don’t know the exact position of ONLF right now. I hear they have drawn from the election. That would have been their best option had they known their current position – an opposition party weakened by tribal division for now – but never the less with very huge future potential!

    • As to WSLF position, I feel ashamed for what it stood for once and what it has amounted too right now. In late 70’s they were a freedom fighter group very much feared by the colonial Amharas. Now they are complete stooges Abiy headed by no entities who are there only for the bread crumbs falling off Mustafe’s mouth.

    • Also there arè a number of so called opposition parties with different acronyms solely consisting from the minority tribes created to weaken the genuine majority opposition party – ONLF.

    These and many other tricks ( sick minds can only contrive ) were done in the Somali region ( similar ones in Oromia and so on ) while the world’s eyes were on the tigre war.
    This and the likes in other regions are the pre-determined wins of his Madamar which Abiy is goona use tomorrow for his ticket of staying in power. And as there will not be any observers in the election – to prove otherwise – I am afraid the West and the UN will have a hard time to even find a mandate to talk about it!

    Senator Coons, don’t you see what a wonderful plane Abiy has to defeat democracy?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.