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Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter in the Security Council VTC AOB on the situation in Ethiopia, November 24, 2020

24.11.2020 - Speech

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 Germany is extremely concerned about the current situation in Tigray. A protracted conflict would undermine the political and economic reform agenda, an escalation will at the same time increase the risk of further destabilization for Ethiopia and beyond Ethiopia in the entire region. In this context, I would like to make four points:

  • First, we call for a swift end of hostilities. One aspect of this is that TPLF must stop its firing of rockets, including on Eritrea. The underlying political conflict cannot be resolved by military means. Sustainable solutions require political instruments.
  • Second, we are extremely concerned about the humanitarian consequences of the continued conflict and about the ongoing human rights violations. We call for immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access, the protection of civilians and the adherence to international humanitarian law and human rights. In this context, we are appalled by reports of atrocities such as the massacre in the town of Mai Kadra, according to which a Tigray youth group killed 600 civilians on the 9th of November while it was still under TPLF control. Should such reports turn out to be true, there must be accountability for gross human rights violations.
  • Thirdly, we call upon all political forces in Ethiopia to work together to preserve the unity of the country and to continue the reform process. Ethnic profiling must be avoided as well as turning back on the freedom of the media.
  • My fourth point: we ask the Ethiopian government to use all possible channels to find a regionally mediated political solution. Coordinated international calls for de-escalation and dialogue need to continue. We welcome and we support regional efforts, in particular those by the African Union, IGAD and member states, especially the appointment of the three High-Level Envoys by African Union Chair President Ramaphosa. We encourage continued outreach to the parties.

On possible next steps: I would like to raise the question what further action is planned on the side of the African Union and our African partners and how the Security Council could support these very important efforts? We are ready to continue the discussion here at the Security Council if that is deemed necessary and helpful.

Germany also stands ready to continue its diplomatic outreach to help finding a peaceful solution.

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