The United Nations Security Council has called for an end to escalating fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigre region as rebel Tigris forces announced the formation of a coalition to end Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
In only the second statement on Ethiopia since fighting began a year ago, the 15-member council on Friday urged all sides in Ethiopia to “end hostilities and negotiate a permanent ceasefire.”
The council also called for refraining from “inflammatory hate speech and incitement to violence and division.”
“Today the Security Council has broken a six-month silence and is speaking again with a united voice on the dire situation in Ethiopia,” Geraldine Byrne Naison, Ireland’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement. She said it was the first time the council had called for an end to hostilities in Ethiopia.
According to the Associated Press, members of the council said the language in the statement was amended to remove calls for an “immediate” end of hostilities “unconditionally” because of Russia’s objections.
The UN call came as Tigre forces announced on Friday they had aligned with other armed and opposition groups across the country, including forces in the Oromo region, to topple Prime Minister Abiy’s government. The Tigris forces said they were ready to bring down the prime minister through negotiations or force.
The government of Ethiopia called the creation of the coalition “a propaganda stunt”.
On Friday all Americans were urged to leave Ethiopia “as soon as possible”, according to a security alert posted on the website of the US embassy in Addis Ababa, which called the security situation in the country “very fluid”.
In a warning on its travel advisory website, the State Department on Friday warned Americans “not to travel to Ethiopia due to armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruption, crime, and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas.”
On Saturday, the State Department said it ordered “non-emergency US government employees and their family members” to leave the country on November 5.
The Ethiopian government on Wednesday declared a six-month state of emergency and called on residents to protect their neighborhoods when rebels arrive in the capital.
Tigris forces said earlier this week that they were moving into the capital of Addis Ababa and it could collapse in months or even weeks.
Threats of physical harm on Twitter prompted the social company to temporarily deactivate its Trends section in Ethiopia on Friday.
“Given the imminent threat of physical harm, we have … May incite violence or cause harm,” Twitter said.
Thursday marked the first anniversary of the deployment of troops to Tigre by Prime Minister Abiy in response to the Tigre People’s Liberation Front’s capture of military bases. The ensuing conflict has left thousands dead, several million displaced from their homes and 400,000 Tigre residents facing famine, according to a July 1 estimate by the United Nations.
According to Hassan Khanenje, director of the HORN International Institute for Strategic Studies in Nairobi, Kenya, the escalating violence in Ethiopia could trigger a humanitarian crisis that could spread to neighboring countries and even Europe.
According to Reuters, Khanenje said in an interview with the China Global Television Network that Ethiopia’s precarious status as an anchor state in Africa “threatening to cause a potential humanitarian catastrophe that not only affects neighboring Ethiopia but also the continent.” most countries in the U.S., pushing refugees, perhaps across Europe and elsewhere.”
A joint investigation by the United Nations and the government-produced Ethiopian Human Rights Commission published a report on Wednesday that concluded human rights violations were committed by all parties to the conflict, including the torture of civilians, gang rapes and people based on ethnicity. includes arrest.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said some of these abuses could be war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Margaret Beshir contributed to this report. Some information has been received from Reuters and the Associated Press.