His Excellency, the Chair of the Peace and Security Council;
His Excellency, the Chairperson of the Commission;
Excellences, Members of the Council;
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen;
Allow me to once again thank Council for giving me the opportunity to speak to this body on the prevailing situation in Ethiopia, after my last briefing on the region on 28 October.
Chair, it is pertinent to point out that the crisis situation in northern Ethiopia has continued to drastically deteriorate in recent weeks, leading to a serious escalation of the situation. I have been following these developments with keen attention, and it is owing to the rapid changes in trend that I am paying another visit here in Ethiopia to engage all stakeholders for the de-escalation of the situation. It should be noted that following days of reports of intense fighting in the north of the country, the Ethiopian cabinet declared on 02 November a nationwide state of emergency with immediate effect, while the central authorities urging the citizens to prepare to defend the capital. The mass demonstration yesterday, 07 November, as well as other similar demonstrations in several cities in support of the federal government is evident of this reality.
Distinguished members of the Council, since my arrival in Ethiopia on 4 November, after my visit to Sudan on the day earlier, I have met with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the President of Ethiopia and the President of Oromia and had meaningful discussions with them on the ongoing escalation with reflections on how to de-escalate tension to pave the way for dialogue. During my meeting with him, H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed agreed that I pay a visit to Mekelle to meet his adversaries.
It is in this context that I travelled to Mekelle yesterday, 07 November 2021, to engage the leaders of the northern region in an effort to de-escalate tension in order to find an amicable solution to the situation. As a summary to our discussions, all these leaders here in Addis Ababa and in the north agree individually that the differences opposing them are political and require political solution through dialogue. This, therefore, constitutes a window of opportunity that we can collectively tap into to assist the people of Ethiopia find lasting solution to the ongoing crisis. It is, however, needful to mention that the window of opportunity we have is very little and that time is paramount for any intervention in this regard. The ongoing conflict situation continues to have severe humanitarian consequences on the population, with huge impact on socio-economic development and stability. The time is now for collective actions in finding lasting solution to avoid further escalation of the situation which may have direct effect on the strategic Horn of Africa region as a whole.
H.E. Chair of the Council, predicated on the foregoing, I wish to urge Council to consider the following:
- Strongly urge and encourage the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to engage in political dialogue without any preconditions;
- Call for an immediate and unconditional comprehensive ceasefire and cessation of hostilities by all parties;
- Call for immediate and unhindered humanitarian access;
- Call on the parties to ensure respect and compliance with international humanitarian and human rights laws;
- Call for an immediate commencement of an all-inclusive nationwide dialogue and reconciliation.
- Call on the international community to rally behind the AU-led process in order to ensure coherence and unity of purpose for our peacemaking efforts.
Once again, H.E. Chair of the PSC, H.E. Chairperson of the Commission, Excellences members of the Council, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I wish to end my intervention by saying that the current situation is critical and that the time is now for collective actions.