19 August 2021

Ethiopians rejected Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman – this why

On Friday 29th January 2021, The Middle East Policy Council held its 103rd Capitol Hill Conference virtually. One of the speakers of the event was Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa.

Although the event was about the Middle East, Feltman wanted to start with what he referred as ’ the alarming developments in the Horn of Africa’ as he is convinced that there is a very strong connection between the Horn and the Middle East. Agree with him on the connection.

Feltman thus discusses Ethiopia. He says, “Ethiopia's population alone is more than 4 times that of pre-war Syria. 110 million people in Ethiopia. Conflict in the Horn could make Syria look like child's play by comparison.”

We disagree. Ethiopia & Syria are totally different. We disagree because Syria has been led ONLY by the al-Assad family since 1971 with an iron fist whereas Ethiopia is being led by a new and dynamic leader, who only took power in 2018. Furthermore the conflicts in the two countries are completely different in nature.

In Syria it was public uprising as part of the Arab Spring, whereas in Ethiopia it is a disgruntled group wanting to take power by force against the will of the majority of the Ethiopian people. Syria’s president has been extending his term, which is not the case in Ethiopia.

Feltman continues. He says, “We need to engage the gulf countries Egypt and Turkey to stabilize the Horn of Africa.”

Disagree again. How could Egypt, a country that has openly vowed to destabilise the Horn be trusted to stabilise the Horn? Egypt cannot be trusted at all.

Feltman says, “The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed military assault in the Tigray region has opened a Pandora's box.”

Here Feltman accuses the Ethiopian government as if it started the war. He shifts the blame from TPLF to ENDF. This is dangerous & misleading statement.

Feltman continues his analysis of Ethiopia. He says, “Ethiopia's Oromo region is restive”

Disagree again. Feltman does not know and cannot know how the majority Oromos and the Oromia region feel and operate. Does he know that nearly 15 million people voted for the PM's party in Oromia?

Feltman continues. He says, “Somalia's president shares Abiy Ahmed’s desire for very strong central control putting him at odds with powerful provincial leaders.”

Feltman wants to frame Prime Minister Abiy as a leader who has centralised power and Somalia’s president replicating Prime Minister Abiy.

Feltman continues. He says, “ Ethiopia’s Elections scheduled in 2021 of this year are likely to provoke violence.”

We disagree again. Does he know that nearly 34 million voted without a single violence? Does he accept the results of Ethiopia's historic democratic election?

Feltman says, "Ethiopia has brushed aside African Union mediation efforts."

This is an absurd accusation. Ethiopia is the only country that has been keen to see African solutions for African problems unlike Egypt & Sudan, who pushed the #GERD issue to Arab League and UN.

Feltman says, “IGAD, the intergovernmental Authority on Development has been severely weakened as authoritarian leaders in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia draw closer at the expense of the wider collective.”

We disagree again. Labelling leaders as authoritarian because they don’t agree with you is unacceptable.

Feltman continues his wrong and biased analysis on Ethiopia, the Horn and wider Africa. He concludes that Horn of Africa cannot sort its crises on its own and needs support from the Gulf and Arab states.

As Feltman was on his way to meet Ethiopia’s leaders, which took place on 17th August, Ethiopians across the world resorted to social media to tell him and the Biden Administration that Feltman was not welcome as he had already lost credibility.

During his talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Froegin Minister of Ethiopia, he was told that ‘Ethiopia expects that the U.S. would properly condemn the destructive acts of the invading TPLF forces. Feltman said the U.S. understands how the people of Ethiopia see TPLF.’


So good that Ethiopians rejected him as he has no credibility at all.

Full video of the August 29th event in the below link. 

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