ETHIOPIA: EU calls for cessation of hostilities
Brussels 23.11.2020 The EU multiplies efforts to find a peaceful solution for Ethiopia conflict in Tigray region. (Image above: social media).
“The EU member-states are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life as a result of the conflict between the Federal government of Ethiopia and the Tigray region led by the TPLF (Tigray’s People Liberation Front)” the spokesperson of the EU diplomacy said, while reacting upon the unfolding crisis in the Horn of Africa.
“We took note of that the Federal government of Ethiopia considers the ongoing conflict between the Federal government and the TPLF as the “internal affair” of Ethiopia. The EU respects the Ethiopia Constitutional order, including the federal government Constitutional duty to strengthen the ties between the people of Ethiopia. However the EU is deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict, as by the unfolding humanitarian and refugee crisis. The further military escalation, long-term conflict and instability in the country and the wider region must be avoided”, the EU diplomat continued.
“The EU calls for immediate cessation of hostilities, and for resolution of political dispute through peaceful means” the European External Action Service spokesperson said.
The same day Heiko Maas, the Foreign affairs minister of Germany, chairing the EU rotating presidency,issued the following statement:
“Ethiopia and its neighbouring countries have already had to face huge challenges this year in the form of floods, the locust invasion and COVID‑19. And now there is the armed conflict in the Tigray region, which is dividing the country, harming the people and having an impact on neighbouring states. This is extremely dangerous.
“In order to respond directly to the emergency and to provide life-saving assistance, we have now decided to top up our humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia by a further five million euro. We will make this funding available to the Country-Based Pooled Fund and thus to aid workers on the ground so that they can help people who have lost their homes or are fleeing from the fighting.
What is needed to resolve the conflict is a political process that starts with de-escalation and dialogue and continues the course of reform launched by Prime Minister Abiy. The parties to the conflict have been offered mediation; this must be taken up now”.
Earlier Sunday, on November 22, the Ethiopian army threatened to besiege the capital of Tigray region Mekelle.
“The next decisive battle is to surround Mekele with tanks,” Dejene Tsegave, a military spokesman, told state broadcasters. “Save yourself,” Dejene warned Mekele residents. “A directive has been communicated for you to dissociate yourself from this junta, after that there will be no mercy.”
Prime Minister Abiy declared war on the Regional Government of Tigray in early November, accusing the regional government of attacking and looting the armaments of the Northern Ethiopian Military Camp. However in the context of press ban to access the area the information could not be verified.