MEDIA NOTE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON OCTOBER 12, 2022
We, Australia, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are profoundly concerned by the escalation of the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia. We call on the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray regional authorities to immediately halt their military offensives, agree to a cessation of hostilities, allow for unhindered and sustained humanitarian access, and pursue a negotiated settlement through peace talks under an African Union-led process. We also condemn the escalating involvement of Eritrean military forces in northern Ethiopia. We call on Eritrean forces to cease their military operations and withdraw from northern Ethiopia. All foreign actors should cease actions that fuel this conflict.
Multiple reports, including the joint investigation report of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission/Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the recent report of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE), have documented human rights abuses committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean government forces, Tigrayan forces, and other armed actors, such as Fano militia, since the start of the conflict in November 2020. Human rights abuses documented in these reports include unlawful killings, physical abuse, and gender-based violence. We are deeply concerned by the ICHREE’s finding that there are reasonable grounds to believe that starvation of a civilian population has been used as a method of warfare. The resumption of fighting in northern Ethiopia raises a high risk of further human rights violations and abuses.
We denounce any and all violence against civilians. We call on the parties to recognize there is no military solution to the conflict, and we call on the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray regional authorities to participate in African Union-led talks aimed at helping Ethiopia achieve a lasting peace. Any durable solution must include accountability for human rights abuses and violations. We also call on all parties to allow unhindered humanitarian access, ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers, and cooperate with, and facilitate access for, international human rights monitors.