Ethiopia PM Ahmed rejects international interference

2020-11-25 15:33:15
Ethiopia PM Ahmed rejects international interference

Ethiopia has asked the international community to refrain from "unwelcome and unlawful acts of interference" in its internal affairs following calls to stop the conflict in the northern Tigray region.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has described the military offensive as a "law-enforcement operation".

His ultimate deadline to Tigray forces to surrender will lapse on Wednesday.

Many people have reportedly been killed and thousands have unfortunately been forced from their homes.

Aid groups fear the battle could trigger a serious humanitarian crisis and may destabilize the Horn of Africa region.

The UN has stated that it was alarmed by the threat of serious hostilities if the Ethiopian army advanced on Tigray's capital, Mekelle, which home to nearly 500,000 people.

In an official statement released on Wednesday morning, Mr Abiy announced that when it came to outside help "the international community should stand by until the government of Ethiopia submits its requests for assistance".

On Tuesday, a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the conflict in Tigray was concluded without a statement, with many African countries reportedly requesting additional time to allow for diplomatic efforts by the African Union to proceed.

Meanwhile, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell had a meeting with Ethiopia's foreign minister in order to discuss the conflict.

"I expressed my great concern regarding increasing ethnic-targeted violence, numerous casualties and violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law," Mr Borrell remarked following their Tuesday meeting.

On Sunday, Mr Abiy delivered a 72-hour ultimatum to Tigray's forces, asking them to surrender as they were "at a point of no return".

However, Tigray's forces have promised to keep fighting, with their leader Debretsion Gebremichael stating that they are "ready to die in defence of our right to administer our region".

Meanwhile, Ethiopia's state-appointed Human Rights Commission has recently accused a youth group from the Tigray region of being responsible for a massacre earlier this month in which it claims over 600 civilians were killed.

The commission has stated that the group stabbed and burned to death non-Tigrayan residents and civilians of the town of Mai-Kadra with the collusion of some local forces.

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