Ethiopia Monday announced it had broken diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the Middle East country of causing instability in the Horn of Africa.
“This decision has been taken after long observation of Qatar’s activities in the Horn of Africa,” said a statement issued by the Ethiopian Foreign ministry.
In addition, the ministry charged that Qatar had left no stone unturned to cause harm to Ethiopia’s national security and that all those who were prepared to cause instability in Ethiopia and undermine its security were encouraged by Qatar.
“Ethiopia has displayed considerable patience towards Qatar’s attempts to destabilize our sub-region and, in particular, its hostile behavior towards Ethiopia.
“Qatar has now, however, become a major source of instability in the Horn of Africa and more widely,” the ministry said.
According to the statement, Qatar’s ostensibly maverick political alliances might be regarded as innocuous but they were not. “Its image is misleading. Qatar’s activities have far reaching consequences for the whole of Africa.
Indeed, the African Union needs to look into the implication of this situation for Africa-Arab cooperation,” said the statement.
Citing Qatar’s strong ties with Eritrea, the ministry asserted that the monarchy provided direct and indirect assistance to terrorist organizations in Somalia and other areas.
It said “This has included the output of its media outlets. Qatar has become a source of support for armed opposition groups and their coordinators in neighboring countries.
“Whether in Somalia and in other parts of the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia , Qatar has been one of the most important supporters of terrorism and extremism in our sub-region.
“This has wider implications,” said the ministry.
Before breaking off the ties, the ministry explained that Ethiopia had raised the issues with the Government of Qatar on a number of occasions.
It said “all diplomatic efforts have been deployed to try and persuade Qatar to change its destructive activities.
“Qatar has, however, consistently refused to accept responsibility for activities of which Ethiopia has unequivocal evidence.
“Apparently blinded by arrogance, the source of which is clear enough, Qatar has remained deaf to all our efforts.
“The Government of Ethiopia has reluctantly been left with no alternative than taking this now unavoidable step,” the statement added, expressing optimism that the Government of Qatar would speedily change its policies that led to the action taken by Ethiopia.