Home WORLD EUROPA Ethiopia: Guterres calls for ceasefire amid divisions at UN

Ethiopia: Guterres calls for ceasefire amid divisions at UN

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In coordination with the African Union mediator, ex-President (Nigerian) Olusegun Obasanjo and President (Kenyan) Uhuru Kenyatta, Antonio Guterres had separate telephone conversations with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Debretsion Gebremicheal, leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the spokesperson for theUN, Stéphane Dujarric.

A tank damaged during the fighting between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People's Liberation Front forces (on file).

A tank damaged during the fighting between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front forces (on file).

Photo: Reuters

He asked them to put end the fighting and start a comprehensive negotiation to resolve the current crisis, said the spokesperson.

This diplomatic move, the day after the AU and US envoys returned to Ethiopia to secure a ceasefire, took place at a time when the Security Council was failing to agree on a joint declaration.

A draft text sponsored by Ireland, a non-permanent member of the Council, was blocked by China and Russia, told theAFP a diplomat on condition of anonymity. There is no didn’t agree, confirmed several other diplomatic sources, some of whom felt that the rushed project had lacked prior consultations.

The Russian diplomatic mission acknowledged a disagreement. No comment could be obtained immediately from the Chinese mission.

Men brandish their guns in a truck.

Armed forces from Tigray accompany captured Ethiopian soldiers and allied militia members to their place of detention in Mekele.

Photo: Associated Press

In the draft declaration obtained by theAFP, the Council demanded unimpeded humanitarian access, an end of hostilities and the launch of a national inclusive dialogue in Ethiopia.

He also expressed his deep concern in the face of the arrest of employees of theUN (half a dozen were still detained on Friday) and called for their immediate release.

The concern of the members of the Council was also underlined in the face of reports of widespread detentions in Ethiopia on the basis of ethnic identity and without due process and the institution should also condemn hate speech, according to the draft text.

The war between the Ethiopian authorities and the TPLF, triggered on November 4, 2020, has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than two million people. It is punctuated with abuses perpetrated by both camps.

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