Governments and International Bodies “Positions” on the Ethiopian Conflict
The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office said they are deeply concerned about the death of the DRC and IRC staff that has been killed in Tigray. They call on aid workers to be protected at all times.
The UK has said it is concerned by the violence between federal and regional forces in the Tigray region and the risk it poses to civilians, and by reports of ethnically-motivated attacks both within Tigray and elsewhere in Ethiopia. It added it is gravely concerned over allegations of atrocities and violations and called for transparency and accountability. The UK has repeatedly called for civilians to be protected and the UK’s position is that determining whether a situation amounts to genocide is an issue for competent national and international courts, not governments.
The growing conflict in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray was “cause for great concern”. Speaking in Berlin, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Christofer Burger said that attempts by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to “widen the conflict and draw in neighbouring countries” were a particular worry.
Norway urges the parties to the conflict in Ethiopia to stop the violence in Tigray. Hostilities and hate speech must give way to dialogue. Safe and unhindered humanitarian access and lifting the information blockade are important first steps’, said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.
United States of America
Despite initially praising Eritrea’s restraint following attacks on Eritrean capital Asmara, the US State Department states it has credible reports on the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray. “This is a grave development,” a US State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We urge that any such troops be withdrawn immediately.”
EEAS High Representative Josep Borrell expressed great concern regarding increasing ethnic-targeted violence, numerous casualties and violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law. He called for safe and free movement and protection of civilians, vulnerable groups and IDPs.
The EU called for the cessation of hostilities, the non-interference of any external party, and the freedom of the media. Engagement with the High-Level Envoys appointed by the Chair of the African Union should open the door for a dialogue that is the only way forward to avoid further destabilisation.
The EU joined the call of the UNHCR to ensure the safety and well-being of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, who have been caught in the conflict in the Tigray region. It said all refugees must be protected from harm and any act of refoulement or forced return should be prevented, in accordance with international refugee, human rights and humanitarian law. Any return must be safe, voluntary and dignified.
It urged parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate immediate, unhindered and unrestricted humanitarian access to all affected areas, in full respect of the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
EU suspended nearly €90M in aid to Ethiopia over the internal conflict.
The 55 member states of the African Union have called for an immediate end to bloodshed and hostilities in Tigray and called on parties to respect human rights and ensure the protection of civilians.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi states he has received an “overwhelming number of disturbing reports of Eritrean refugees in Tigray being killed, abducted and forcibly returned to Eritrea.” He adds “If confirmed, these actions would constitute a major violation of international law.
The UNHCR has said that Eritrean Ethiopia’s government states it is returning Eritrean refugees to camps they have fled in the northern region of Tigray, a move that alarms the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.
UN OCHA states that food rations for displaced people in Tigray have run out and reiterates an urgent call for unconditional and safe humanitarian access to the affected regions.
The International Federation of the Red Cross’ President said he is deeply concerned about the situation in Tigray, particularly about lack of access to civilians, hospitals without water and electricity, lack of medicines.
Amnesty International states aid must be allowed into refugee camps: “we are on the brink of a humanitarian crisis and federal authorities are making it worse”.
Human Rights Watch said the Ethiopian Government and Tigray reginal authorities should protect people and property at risks from the fighting amid credible reports of increasing casualties. They call both sides to the conflict to facilitate access for humanitarian groups, stop interrupting essential services and immediately restore communication services in the region.