Security Council deeply concerned by expanding clashes in northern Ethiopia


United Nations, Nov 6 : The members of the United Nations Security Council has expressed deep concern about the expansion and intensification of military clashes in northern Ethiopia. In a press statement on Friday, they noted the impact of the conflict on the humanitarian situation, as well as the stability of the country and the wider region. They also welcomed the efforts of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Earlier this week, Guterres said "the stability of Ethiopia and the wider region is at stake." Joining Guterres' appeal, the council members asked parties to refrain from "inflammatory hate speech and incitement to violence and divisiveness." The statement called for the respect of international humanitarian law, for safe and unhindered humanitarian access, the re-establishment of public services, and the scaling up of humanitarian assistance, Xinhua news agency reported. The council members also called to put an end to hostilities and for a lasting ceasefire, saying it could be start of "an inclusive Ethiopian national dialogue to resolve the crisis and create the foundation for peace and stability throughout the country." They reiterated their support for the role of regional organizations, namely the African Union and its High Representative for the Horn of African Region, Olusegun Obasanjo. The statement reaffirmed the Security Council's commitment to Ethiopia's sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and unity. Almost 5.2 million people remain in need of assistance across Ethiopia's regions of Tigray, Amhara and Afar after heavy fighting erupted in November 2020 between government forces and those loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front. In the midst of widespread allegations of human rights abuses on all sides, thousands of people are feared killed, and more than two million are displaced. In the past few months, killings, lootings, and destruction of health centers and farms, as well as of irrigation systems that are crucial for food production, have contributed to an even greater surge in humanitarian needs. /IANS


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