The French ambassador to Ethiopia has underlined the indispensable role Addis Ababa plays in matters to do with regional peace and security.
Frederic Bontems made the observation during a meeting on Tuesday December 3, 2017 in the Ethiopian capital with his counterpart, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu. The French envoy said it was important to have Ethiopia on board various international issues.
The two according to the Foreign Ministry discussed bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. Bontems also extended words of congratulations to Ethiopia on official assumption of its seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
He said France – a permanent member of the UNSC, would continue to work with Ethiopia and to also extend the boundaries of their cooperation on different levels. The Ethiopian top diplomat described France as a ‘dependable friend of Ethiopia’ stressing that they were keen to work with France at the UNSC.
Another key area of cooperation that was discussed was the upcoming France-Africa Forum scheduled to take place in the Malian capital Bamako in May 2017.
Ethiopia’s role in maintaining regional peace was buttressed months back by the Head of African Futures and Innovation at the Institute for Security Studies Jakkie Cilliers in an exclusive interview with Africanews said, “Ethiopia is an important player in terms of peace and security on the African continent.
‘‘It has been for a number of years the largest troops contributor on peacekeeping in Africa. It hosts the African Union and in the horn of Africa, it is extremely significant in Somalia, in Sudan and elsewhere.
‘‘So I think that this reflects in a sense Ethiopia’s status as a, emerging peace and security power in Africa,” Cilliers added.
Ethiopia despite suffering from protests as a result of anti-government sentiments in two main regions – Oromo and Amhara, has been a strong force in mediating in the South Sudan political crisis and in maintaining peace in neighbouring Somalia.
They are also in the forefront of the regional peace and security group, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The country is currently under a 6-month state of emergency aimed at quelling the protests.