In its publication of November 5, entitled Ethiopia: the threat of Civil War, Le Monde insinuates, on the basis of innuendos and speculation, that “the Eritrean leader is the ‘master builder’ of the start of the conflict, which, despite its local appearance, is dangerous in more ways than one”. Le Monde quotes a single, anonymous, “knowledgeable source” in validating its baseless accusations.
This ridiculous assertion flies in the face of stark facts. The immediate cause of the current conflict is TPLF’s reckless and multi-pronged attack this week on contingents of the Ethiopian Armed Forces – the Northern Command – deployed in the Tigray Region for decades. The TPLF itself has not denied this fact even though this was couched in terms of “pre-emptive action to neutralize the Northern Command and the requisition of its weaponry”.
Le Monde’s defamatory article is also replete with other inexcusable factual errors and presumptions. It asserts, for instance, that “the Ethiopia’s Constitution was tailor-made to allow Eritrea to secede from Ethiopia in 1993”.
In the first place, Ethiopia’s Constitution has no jurisdiction or relevance whatsoever to Eritrea. Furthermore, the Ethiopian Constitution that the authors of the article invoke was drafted in 1994 – one full year after the formal independence of Eritrea following the internationally-supervised referendum that Eritrea held out of its own volition in the sequel of its military victory in the 30-year armed struggle of national liberation against foreign occupation.
Unless rectified, sloppy journalism of this magnitude can only blight Le Monde’s image and do a disservice to its readers.
Ministry of Information
6 November 2020