The African Union’s envoy for the Horn of Africa warned on Monday that the window of opportunity for a political solution to the crisis in northern Ethiopia was closing, as the country pointed to an all-out conflict.
The AU’s Special Representative, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, said, “The time is now for collective action to find permanent solutions to avoid escalation of the situation, which could have a direct impact on the strategic Horn of Africa region.” ” to the Horn of Africa.
Briefing the UN Security Council from Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, where he arrived on Thursday, Obasanjo said he had met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and leaders of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), as well as some affiliated groups. met separately. Demanded to de-escalate the tension and start the conversation.
“All leaders here in Addis Ababa and in the north personally agree that the differences between them are political and require a political solution through dialogue,” he said. “Therefore, this constitutes a window of opportunity that we can tap into collectively to help the Ethiopian people find a permanent solution to the ongoing crisis.”
Obasanjo said on Tuesday he would visit the northern regions of Amhara and Afar, where the TPLF has expanded fighting, displacing thousands.
The battle has escalated in the lead-up to last week’s one-year anniversary of the start of the conflict.
Tigris forces said earlier this week they were advancing on Addis Ababa and it could collapse in months or even weeks.
The Ethiopian government on Tuesday declared a six-month state of emergency and called on residents to protect their neighborhoods when rebels arrive in the capital.
Jal Maru, the commander of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), an ally of the TPLF, told Agence France-Presse that the OLA posed “no threat” to civilians, but that Abiy and his ruling Prosperity Party were “to be completely ousted”. Need more reconciliation” to begin reconciliation.
“We will make Ethiopia – not just Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa – a peaceful, very stable place to live in. I am sure there will be no conflict after the regime of Abiy Ahmed,” he said.
Ethiopia’s UN ambassador blamed some countries and the Western media for encouraging the TPLF.
“It is buoyant to the level that it threatens to overthrow a popularly elected federal government and destabilize a country of 112 million people,” Ambassador Taye Atsake-Selassi said of the rebels. “We again reiterate our plea for the support of this group that is providing it with communications equipment, satellite information, weapons and even escaping fighters.”
Civil war concerns are rising
The UN political chief warned that the conflict had “reached catastrophic proportions” and could plunge Africa’s second most populous country into an all-out civil war if not stopped immediately.
“What is certain is that the risk of Ethiopia entering an escalating civil war is very real,” Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council. “It would bring a humanitarian catastrophe and consume the future of such an important country.”
DiCarlo said the fighting already threatens regional stability in the Horn of Africa.
“The political repercussions of intensifying violence across the wider region would be enormous, adding to the many crises that beset the Horn of Africa,” he said.
US envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield said: “The longer this conflict lasts, the more difficult the road to peace becomes and more people will die.” “And as you heard from High Representative Obasanjo, the window of opportunity is limited, and time is running out. I am the strongest of all parties – of all parties – to step back from the brink and lead my people toward peace.” I urge you in words.”
He said that the allegations of America being biased towards one side are false.
“Let me be clear: We condemn violence from all sides. We condemn any and all human rights violations and abuses committed by all parties.”
The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairaimu Nderitu, expressed concern in a statement on Monday at the rise of ethnically and religiously motivated hate speech, ethnic profiling and incitement to violence.
“All of these are risk factors for atrocity crimes,” she warned.
In addition to Obasanjo, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths completed a four-day visit to Ethiopia on Monday.
During his mission, he traveled to Mekele, the capital of the Tigre, where the government places a de facto blockade on the distribution of humanitarian aid. The United Nations said there had been no aid since October 18 and more than five million people were in dire need of it.
Griffiths also met with Abiy and other senior federal government officials on Friday.
US Horn of Africa envoy Jeffrey Feltman has also been in the area since Thursday. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Feltman is currently in Addis Ababa.