The European Parliament has spoken out against the armed conflict between the Ethiopian federal government and the regional administration of Tigray, led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The conflict has already caused hundreds of civilian deaths and the mass displacement of people. In the resolution approved today in plenary, the European Parliament calls on both parties to commit to an immediate ceasefire and to solve political divergences by democratic means in order to find a lasting peaceful solution. In particular, the S&D Group demands that the Ethiopian Government gives humanitarian organisations immediate and unrestricted access to the areas where there is conflict, in order to ensure humanitarian aid reaches those in need.
The S&D rapporteur and co-chair of the EU African-Caribbean-Pacific Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Carlos Zorrinho MEP, commented:
“The bloody conflict between the federal government of Ethiopia and the Tigray regional administration must be mediated and brought to an end urgently through democratic dialogue to avoid the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, the violation of human rights and press freedom, and the emergence of a brutal humanitarian crisis.
“International human-rights organisations report that, since the beginning of the conflict, there have been several incidents of indiscriminate killings of civilians and war crimes in different parts of Tigray.
“What is more, Tigrayan people elsewhere in the country have been suspended from their jobs and prevented from flying externally. It has been also reported that physical and digital surveillance, and mass arbitrary arrests and detentions have taken place. This is not acceptable and must be stopped.
“This national crisis could have a terrible impact on the stability of the whole Horn of Africa region, turning swiftly into an international calamity.
“It is worth remembering that the EU's development co-operation with Ethiopia is one of the largest in the world, with €815 million for the period 2014-2020, and that Ethiopia is one of the major beneficiaries of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, receiving over €271.5 million from 2015 to 2019. In 2020, the EU is providing €44.29 million to humanitarian projects in Ethiopia.
“Hence, with the backing of the European Parliament, in association with the countries and regional organizations, the EU has the moral and political authority to call on the parties to promote the democratic legality and to ensure the restoration of the constitutional framework and peace in Ethiopia.”