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Russia says Unilateral sanction on Ethiopia counter-productive

Russia has reaffirmed commitment in the preservation of the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. It has highlighted the capability of Ethiopians for inter-ethnic harmony and build their state 

Deputy Permanent Representative at UNSC, Anna Evstigneeva. (Photo : Russia UN website)

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Russia on Monday reiterated that an illegal and unilateral sanction against Ethiopia is counter-productive in handling the crisis in the country. It will only make it worse, according to  Anna Evstigneeva, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative at the  UNSC, who spoke at the council following the UNSC briefing on peace and security in Africa. 

The Russian representative rather called on stakeholders, including media, to de-escalate the international rhetoric in connection with the situation in Ethiopia. 

Furthermore, the representative expressed Russia’s conviction in  the capability of the Ethiopian society for interethnic harmony and building the Ethiopian state. China has expressed similar sentiment. Chinese Ambassador at the UNSC, Zhang Jun, said 

“Ethiopia is a country with wisdom and capability. We have faith in the people of Ethiopia to stay united at this critical juncture, resolve the differences from within and bring the country back on the right track of peace and stability.”

https://twitter.com/Chinamission2un/status/1457881925050380296 

Mrs. Anna also said that if unresolved, the situation in Ethiopia could affect the entire region. Deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the areas affected by the war is noted as well. Russia spoke out on the importance of increasing humanitarian aid to all the areas affected by the conflict.  

There have been allegations that the U.S. government and its allies have been working on a “regime change agenda” in Ethiopia through hybrid war. WIthout making a reference to it, the Russian representative said that the government in Ethiopia is democratically elected and that it has been demonstrated that it has popular support in the country. 

Russia did not remark on that except the need to deescalate the rhetoric at the international level.  It also said that the current Ethiopian government has popular support, as manifested in the recent massive demonstration. 

Negotiation efforts by the United Nations and the African Union did not bring about fruit, based on the speech from the Russian representative. However, Russia seems to have faith in the efforts of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who briefed the  UNSC about the negotiation effort he is making. 

Full content of the Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC is featured below : 

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on peace and security in Africa

Mr.President,

We have listened carefully to the statements on the latest developments of the situation in Northern Ethiopia delivered by Olusegun Obasanjo, the High Representative of the African Union for the Horn of Africa region, and Rosemary DiCarlo, USG for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs. We also welcome the participation of Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN in today’s meeting.

Russia has watched with concern the recent developments in Ethiopian regions of Tigray, Afar and Amhara, where clashes between the government forces and units from the Tigray Defense Force, as well as their allied groups such as the Oromo Liberation Army, have been observed. Fighting around the cities of Dessie and Kombolcha last week clearly demonstrated that ongoing violence leads to more casualties and dire humanitarian consequences for civilians.

Of particular concern is the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the areas affected by the fighting. Hostilities in Dessie and Kombolcha, where a great number of refugees and IDPs had lived even before the conflict, led to an upsurge in refugees and IDPs. The number of civilians in need of humanitarian aid has already reached 7 million people due to the repeated attacks of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Humanitarian aid to all regions of Ethiopia must be increased. We continue to insist that such aid must be provided in close coordination with the sovereign government and in strict compliance with the basic guiding principles of the UN.

As we have said previously, the divisions in Ethiopia run deep and have a complex historical context. Moreover, the situation in the country carries significant negative potential for the region as a whole. That is why we have been urging all stakeholders capable of influencing the situation, as well as the media, to take a responsible approach to avoid escalating the international rhetoric and fueling the already spiraling ethnic strife. We are convinced that adoption of illegal unilateral sanctions, threats of such sanctions or refusal to provide economic assistance are counterproductive and will only worsen the situation for the already-suffering ordinary people instead of bringing about reconciliation.

There is no alternative to supporting national and regional efforts aimed at ending the intra-Ethiopian military confrontations and advancing the dialogue to restore peace and gradually achieve social and economic stabilization in Ethiopia. At various points in their history, the Ethiopians have repeatedly demonstrated that they are capable of living in interethnic harmony and build their common state. The general election this year, held in peace and in line with democratic standards, reaffirmed this idea. High level of support for the government was demonstrated at recent mass demonstrations in Addis-Ababa.

We are aware of the various ongoing mediation efforts of the UN and the AU. Unfortunately, the situation on the ground shows that such efforts have not yet yielded any significant results. In this regard, Mr. Obasanjo, we hope that you, as an honest and impartial broker, will take the necessary urgent steps to reverse the momentum in the direction of peace. All the necessary signals from the UNSC were sent in the press statement adopted on November 5.

We also welcome the work carried out in the region by Martin Griffiths, Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. We hope that these efforts will generate momentum for the work of humanitarian personnel on the ground, including in terms of providing uninterrupted humanitarian assistance.

In conclusion, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to preserving the unity and territorial integrity of friendly Ethiopia. We are convinced that there can be no other basis for resolving all of the contentious issues.

Thank you for your attention.

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