Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali posted an open letter to US President Joe Biden on Friday with an appeal to assume a tougher stance toward the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), after the US leader tightened sanctions on all sides to a protracted armed conflict in the north of Ethiopia.
Earlier in the day, Biden signed an order to mandate new sanctions on the sides to the conflict in the Ethiopian Tigray Region, including the Ethiopian government and TPLF. The decision came in response to a deep humanitarian crisis that gripped the region, resulting in mass famine, murders and other crimes toward the civilians.
“While threats to national, regional and global security continue to be a key component of US interests in many parts of the world, it remains unanswered why your administration has not taken a strong position against the TPLF — the very organization the US Homeland Security categorized as qualifying as Tier 3 terrorist organization for their violent activities in the 1980s,” the letter, published on the minister’s Twitter, said.
As long as Ethiopia has always been loyal to the United States in fighting the radical al-Shabaab (terrorist entity affiliated with al-Qaeda, both banned in Russia), operating in the African Horn Region, Addis Ababa now expects Washington to support the endeavor to combat the TPLF militants.
“Ethiopia has remained the US’s staunch ally in fighting the terrorism threat of Al Shabab in the Horn. It is our expectation that the US would stand by Ethiopia as a similar terrorist organization with hostility towards the region threatens to destabilize the Horn,” the address read.
The internal conflict flared up in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray in November 2020, when the authorities blamed the TPLF, a major local political force, in attacking a military base and launched a counter-operation.