Russia recommended that a political dialogue to resolve the conflict be handled by Ethiopians themselves. The Ethiopian government is planning a national reconciliation dialogue – which is anticipated to take place starting next month
The conflict situation in northern Ethiopia continues to divide Permanent and non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
As was the case in the past, the United States placed much of the blame on Ethiopia for the humanitarian crisis and conflict situation in the country. Richard Mills, US Deputy representative to the United Nations, said, “The Ethiopian government has not responded positively to proposals for negotiations. Instead, it has publicly called for the mobilization of militia. ”
Ethiopia, as has been reported in the past, declared a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire at the end of June. However, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) ridiculed it as it was interpreted, on its part, to mean that Ethiopia had lost the war in the Tigray region. What happened next was that the TPLF forces launched a military campaign in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia. Thousands of civilians were killed and hundreds of thousands of residents from both regions were displaced.
However, the TPLF crimes hardly get condemnations from the United States and its European allies. The inclination, rather, is to pass sanctions on the Ethiopian government on alleged grounds of obstructing humanitarian aid to the Tigray region. And last week, food that was supposed to be distributed to those in need in the Tigray region was caught in the hands of TPLF fighters who were captured in war in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.
The U.S. representative at the Thursday’s UNSC meeting rather called for cessation of hostilities and unconditional dialogue.
Antonio Gueterres, the Secretary General, called for what he called withdrawal of “foreign forces” [ apparently making reference to Eritrean forces] and for the creation of “Ethiopian-led political dialogue to find a solution to this ongoing crisis”
Russia, China and India demonstrated a great deal of consistency in their understanding of the conflict in Ethiopia and the solutions for it.
Russia’s Deputy Ambassador at the UN, Anna Evstigneeva, noted Ethiopian government efforts for a ceasefire and continuity of hostility by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. She also noted that the group, which the Ethiopian Parliament designated as a terrorist organization, took control of areas in the Afar and Amhara regions.
Russia also demonstrated clarity over the complication of humanitarian delivery and highlighted that the TPLF has been attempting to control routes linking Ethiopia and Djibouti – through which humanitarian aid was delivered to the Tigray region.
Among the priority actions needed to solve the complication, for Russia, is to “depoliticize northern Ethiopia’s humanitarian file” (apparently at the UN and in the media).
Furthermore, Russia supported political dialogue, which was also suggested by the UN secretary general, but recommended that it “must be owned by the Ethiopian sides themselves.” ( Full remark by the Russian diplomat is available HERE ) Ethiopians have been accusing the U.S. of plotting a regime change in Ethiopia.
China and India, on their part, demonstrated a great clarity about the situation in the country and recommended that it be resolved by Ethiopians themselves. India, like Russia and China, noted that the TPLF rejected the ceasefire introduced by the Federal government.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador at the UN, who attended the UNSC open meeting, presented Ethiopia’s side of the story. He tweeted, through Ethiopia at the UN Twitter handle, “At the Security Council meeting on Ethiopia, we reiterated the federal government’s commitment to peace, the enforcement of law and order, and delivery of humanitarian assistance, reminding the Council that undue foreign interference isn’t appreciated by a soul in my country.”
Ethiopian activists and media personalities have been closely following news of the meeting over Ethiopia. China, India and Russia were hailed for standing on the just cause of Ethiopia.
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