EU calls Ethiopia to respect Humanitarian law

Brussels 04.12.2020 The EU diplomacy continues to follow closely the events in Ethiopia, insisting that “the international humanitarian law must be upheld under all circumstances and any violations be accounted for in line with the international standards and instruments”, the European External Actions Service spokesperson said, while responding to unfolding crisis in Tigray region.

“…We are following the situation in Ethiopia with great attention and coordinating very closely with the regional and international actors, our message is clear and focused on the secession of hostilities, and of the ethnic-targeted violence, protection of the civilians, in particular IDPs and refugees” the spokesperson continued.

The Tigray region has come under military control of the federal government, after four weeks of combat operation, causing tens of thousands of civilians to flee to neighbouring Sudan. The humanitarian situation in the region has deteriorated, also affecting Sudan, hosting around 50 000 refugees. There are also different estimates of the U.N. experts, foreseeing around 300 000 Tigray refugees to arrive soon to Sudan in the context of the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation. Some other reports blamed Ethiopian federal troops the ongoing combat operation, contradicting the official statement of the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, announcing the end of the military operation in Tigray region. Different sources in Sudan, including the Sudanese military said, that the Ethiopian federal troops are preventing the fleeing population to cross the border in search for asylum in Sudan.

There is an ongoing call of the EU to all parties to put in place the conditions that will facilitate “unimpeded access to people in need, the cessation of hostilities, the non-interference of any external party, and the freedom of the media”.

According to the firm position of the EU diplomacy, the engagement with the High-level Envoys appointed by the Chair of the African Union Moussa Faki should open the door for a dialogue between the central government in Addis-Ababa and the leaders of Tigray region that is the only way forward to avoid further destabilisation in the Horn of Africa.

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