Dec 8, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

UNSC to discuss Ethiopia today under “any other business”

-The members of the UN Security Council will discuss the situation in Ethiopia under “all other matters” today. The meeting was requested by Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, the UK and the USA. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Aid Co-ordinator Martin Griffiths are expected to provide briefing.

Today’s meeting takes place against the backdrop of the ongoing fighting in northern Ethiopia. The conflict entered its second year in November. In late October, the Tigrayan forces and their allies had taken control of Dessie and Kombolcha – two cities in the Amhara region on the road connecting Addis Ababa to the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle – which marked a significant shift on the battlefield . The rapid advance of the Tigrayan troops towards Addis Ababa prompted several countries – including France, Great Britain and the USA – to urge their nationals in Ethiopia to leave the country immediately.

However, the federal government launched an offensive that led to
some strategic gains, including retaking the city of Chifra in the
Afar region in late November and Lalibela, Dessie and Kombolcha in
early December. Analysts have cited the use of by the federal government
foreign drones as a key element of its offensive to the Tigrayan
Forces back north. The fighting continues in different areas of the north
Ethiopia and the situation on the battlefield are changing. To
According to media reports, the Tigrayan Forces attacked Lalibela on Dec.
December, while government forces were conquering the
Cities of Kobo and Weldiya in the Amhara region by the Tigrayan Forces
on December 18 While diplomatic initiatives – especially those of the AU High
Representative for the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo – and contacts
run among the main Ethiopian and international interlocutors, there are
apparently no progress towards ceasefire talks between the
Parties.

One focus of today’s meeting seems to be the humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia. According to an OCHA situation report dated December 16, 9.4 million people in the Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions need help. OCHA goes on to report that the ongoing fuel shortage in Tigray has resulted in aid partners ceasing their operations and preventing a measles vaccination campaign from starting.

Council members will be interested in learning more about the status of the Griffiths from Griffiths humanitarian access to experience in northern Ethiopia. On November 24, the bi-weekly flights of the United Nations Humanitarian Aviation Service (UNHAS) to Mekelle resumed after being suspended on October 22. (UNHAS suspended all flights to Mekelle after a flight was forced to return to Addis Ababa in the air due to air strikes on Mekelle.) Between November 24th and November 30th, four convoys consisting of 157 trucks carrying food and humanitarian aid hit Help one in Tigray. These were the first humanitarian aid organized by the United Nations to reach Mekelle via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle route since October 18. In response to this development, Secretary General António Guterres said during a December 1 press conference with AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat that humanitarian aid “has effectively resumed”. He added that the level of aid “is unlikely to be as high as we would like” but this development is “a good signal”. In a press conference on December 3rd, Secretary General Stéphane Dujarric’s spokesman highlighted that no fuel had arrived in Tigray via the Afar route since August 2nd> Griffiths may emphasize that aid delivery remains challenging. Council members are likely to express their concerns about the recent incidents of attacks on humanitarian workers and the looting of humanitarian supplies, and to seek further information on how these have affected the ability of the United Nations and its partners to provide assistance in conflict areas . On December 8, Dujarric announced that “large quantities of humanitarian food, including food for malnourished children” had been stolen in Kombolcha. He added that “petty theft of food in recent days has escalated into mass looting of warehouses across Kombolcha, reportedly by elements of the Tigrayan armed forces and some members of the local population”. Deputy Secretary General Farhan Haq reported in a press conference on December 13th that on December 10th “a group of armed people – presumably from either the Ethiopian National Defense Forces or an affiliated allied army” commanded the 18th World Food Program (WFP) truck . Griffiths may also provide an update on the visit of the Ethiopian Humanitarian Coordinator Catherine Sozi to the Afar region December 12-14.

At tomorrow’s meeting, Councilors are likely to raise their concerns
over a range of serious human rights violations and violations
committed from both sides. On December 16, Amnesty International and
Human Rights Watch reported that regional police forces and militias in Amhara
“Mass arrests, killings and forced evictions of ethnic Tigrayans”
in western Tigray. On December 17th, the Human Rights Council (HRC) held a
Special session on the human rights situation in Ethiopia. Open the
Meeting said the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif
that the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights “continues”
Received credible reports of serious human rights abuses and abuses from
all involved “. The meeting was requested by the EU with the aim of
Establish an independent international investigation mechanism to
Gather evidence and hold conflicting parties accountable. Cameroon,
on behalf of the African Group (AG) said that the AG
found the proposed mechanism counterproductive and deplored the
“Indifference to the regional mediation initiative about the
Soil ”.

During the session, the HRC passed a resolution to set up an“ International Commission of Human Rights Experts for Ethiopia ”to investigate allegations of violations of international human rights, international humanitarian law and refugee law in Ethiopia to investigate committed by all parties to the conflict, “including the possible gender dimensions of such violations”. 21 HRC members voted in favor, 15 against and 11 abstained. Security Council members China, India and Russia voted against; France, Ireland, Mexico and Great Britain voted in favor. Of the new Security Council members, Brazil voted in favor, while Gabon rejected the resolution. In response to the adoption, the Ethiopian government issued a press release condemning the meeting, saying that Addis Ababa “will not cooperate with the established mechanisms imposed on it against its consent”. In a press release on December 18, the Tigrayan authorities in Mekelle welcomed the meeting of the HRC and noted “with appreciation” the adoption of the resolution establishing the International Commission of Human Rights Experts.

At the time of writing a Council result is not expected
Relation to tomorrow’s meeting. A press draft in mid-November
The explanation proposed by Ireland did not find sufficient support. It
seems that China and Russia have rejected the draft text that expresses
Concern over the detention of UN staff in Ethiopia and
on reports of detentions “on the basis of ethnic identity and without due date”
Process ”.

In a press release on November 24th, the Irish Foreign Ministry announced that the Ethiopian government had given four of the six Irish diplomats working at the Irish embassy in Addis Ababa a week to do so To leave the country. The reason for their decision is stated in the press release that the Ethiopian authorities cited “the positions that Ireland has taken internationally, including in the UN Security Council, on the conflict in Ethiopia”. Shipping.