Last Sunday, May 23rd, the US State Department issued a Press Release that announces, among other matters, “Visa restriction policy…on the issuance of visas for any current or former Eritrean government officials, members of the security forces, or other individuals, responsible, complicit in, undermining resolution of the crisis in Tigray” Region of Ethiopia.
Eritrea is dismayed by the content and language of this announcement. The crisis in Tigray Region of Ethiopia unfolded solely due to the dangerous acts of military insurrection that the now defunct TPLF group launched on 3 November 2020. This premeditated act of unprecedented scale and gravity was endorsed by the TPLF Central Committee in the preceding days and audaciously announced by its spokesperson as a “blitzkrieg” that will achieve its objectives soon after it was launched. The TPLF’s military scheme was not confined to Ethiopia but also included Eritrea as a target.
The extreme danger and turmoil that would have ensued in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Horn of Africa region as a whole had the TPLF’s original scheme succeeded is too evident to merit further explanation. To gloss over these facts and point an accusing finger on Eritrea defies logic and is unwarranted by any standards.
Furthermore, the timing of the announcement – made on the eve of Eritrea’s Independence Day – exceeds minimal bounds of civility and propriety. And irrespective of their actual ramifications, the announced measures cannot promote legality as well as regional peace and security.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
25 May 2021