ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopia needs no foreign interference to resolve its internal conflict, said China’s foreign minister on Wednesday.
Wang Yi made the remarks during his meeting with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen in the capital Addis Ababa, according to local broadcaster FANA.
Wang said China is closely following the situation in Ethiopia and is opposed what he described as attempts by external forces to impose their political interest on the domestic affairs of Ethiopia.
China, together with Russia and India, last month opposed sanctions on Ethiopia proposed to the UN Security Council by Ireland – a move seconded by the US and other Western countries.
Ethiopia has been fighting the forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) after the group attacked federal army bases stationed across Tigray last November, according to the Ethiopian government.
Nearly 3 million people have been displaced, while close to 10 million need food aid due to the armed conflict, now in its 13th month.
Demeke briefed his Chinese counterpart on developments in the conflict, saying TPLF forces are now on the defensive as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed went to the front last week to lead his army in person – a move that triggered mixed reactions at home while it trended on social media.
Ethiopia, he said, is going by the initiative of the African Union to find a solution to the conflict through its high representative for the Horn of Africa, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Wang earlier attended a major Sino-Africa forum held in Senegal’s capital Dakar.
Wang said on Sunday that “the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be a new milestone in China-Africa relations,” reported Xinhua, the Chinese state-owned news agency.