Addis Abeba – Ahead of the planned UN Security Council meeting on Ethiopia later today, Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President of the European Commission, said “the EU stands by the statement” of UN Secretary-General António Guterres “in this moment of dramatic escalation of violence in Ethiopia.”
Borrell further said that the “number of casualties and the level of human suffering is staggering”, in the Tigray region, and added it was “time for all to rally around peace.”
On October 17, Antonio Guterres issued an unprecedented statement in which he warned that the situation in Ethiopia was “spiraling out of control.”
“The social fabric is being ripped apart & civilians are paying a horrific price. Hostilities in Tigray must end now – including the immediate withdrawal and disengagement of Eritrean armed forces from Ethiopia,” the Secretary General said.
Violence and destruction have reached alarming levels in Ethiopia, he added and, and called for an “urgent resumption of talks towards an effective, lasting political settlement.”
He also pledged the UN’s readiness to support the African Union “in every possible way to end this nightmare for the Ethiopian people.”
The federal government has rebuked the Secretary-General’s statement. Ambassador Taye Atske Selassie, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations, rebuffed the SG’s statement as “unwarranted” which failed to reflect the reality. Ethiopia is preparing for nationwide rally under the motto: “I will stand for Ethiopia and raise my voice”.
According to ruling party owned media, “the public rally is expected to show support to the defensive measures of the government to maintain the territorial integrity of Ethiopia and to condemn the politically motivated interference of some Western powers and international organizations.”
In a statement it issued earlier today to promote the weekend rally, the ruling Prosperity Party (PP) said that Ethiopians “must defend” the country from “the ongoing attacks by the terrorist group through actions and media diplomacy as well as in various ways.”
“The false media and diplomatic propaganda has caused us a lot of pressure as a country,” the ruling party added. The party also urged Ethiopians that “in order to ensure the continuity of our beloved country, we need to stand united, end to end and ensure the resilience of our beloved country.” and “by repeating the unity we showed yesterday, we must defend our country from the attacks, the statement said, adding Ethiopians do not have a shoulder to carry a proxy slavery.
Several regional state government’s and regional branches of the ruling party have also issued statements expressing preparations to hold the weekend rally.
EU’s remark came ahead of today’s UNSC meeting, which was requested by the A3 members of the Council – Gabon, Ghana and Kenya – on 17 October, two days after the call by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat for “an immediate, unconditional ceasefire and resumption of humanitarian services” in the Tigray region, which was welcomed by the Tigray regional state authorities who said they “are ready to abide by an immediate cessation of hostilities.”
The federal government, however, issued a statement on 17 October in which it said it will continue to take “defensive measures” against “repeated attack of the TPLF and its active collusion with hostile foreign powers”. The federal government also said it was “imperative” that it “assumes immediate control of all airports, other federal facilities and installations in the region”, it also called on civilians and humanitarian operators to distance themselves from Tigrayan forces’ military assets, signaling plans for complete takeover of the Tigray regional state. AS