Ethiopia: AU urges for meaningful, genuine dialogue to find lasting solution

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The African Union (AU) has urged parties to the conflict in Ethiopia to engage in a meaningful dialogue to find a lasting solution to the ongoing conflict in Northern Ethiopia.

The statement was made by the Peace and Security Council of the 55-member pan-African bloc Tuesday following the Council’s meeting Monday that dwelt with the current situations in Ethiopia.

The Council “urges the government of Ethiopia and all other relevant parties to the conflict, while being guided by a commitment to the supreme national interest of the country, to engage in a meaningful and genuine dialogue that aims at finding a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict,” the statement read.

While underlining the importance of an inclusive, genuine and comprehensive national dialogue to sustain peace, stability, democracy, good governance and reconciliation in Ethiopia, the Council underscored full support to the efforts of the High Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson Olusegun Obasanjo toward the cessation of hostilities and peaceful resolution of the conflict and welcomed other international and regional efforts exerted toward supporting the realization of these objectives.

It urged all the parties to engage constructively with the High Representative within his mandate and reassured Obasanjo of the Council’s unwavering support for discharging his mandate in line with the notion of African solution to African problems.

The Council also emphasized that the escalation of the conflict has a determinant impact on peace, security and stability in Ethiopia and the wider region, as well as on the political and humanitarian situation.

Reiterating its conviction that there is no military solution to the ongoing conflict, the Council called on all the parties to commit to an immediate cessation of hostilities with a view to pursuing a lasting, unconditional and comprehensive ceasefire and durable peaceful solution.

Amid the escalating conflict, the AU stressed its long standing commitment against any attempt aimed at unconstitutional change of government, while underscoring the importance of continuous efforts toward deepening the culture of democracy and promotion of good governance in the continent.

The Council further requested the Chairperson of the AU Commission to provide periodic updates on the situation and the efforts aimed at reaching a peaceful solution in Ethiopia, especially measures being taken toward de-escalation of the conflict and lasting peace.

Meanwhile, the AU appealed to the international community to refrain from adopting unilateral coercive measures that run contrary to international law. It also reaffirmed its strong commitment to the preservation of the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Ethiopia.

The AU Peace and Security Council meeting on the current situations in Ethiopia came amid escalating conflict in Northern parts of the East African country between the Ethiopian federal government and the forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Amid the escalating conflict, the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) last week endorsed a six-month nationwide state of emergency rule.

The decision to impose the state of emergency rule also came in line with the national call to support the Ethiopian army in the ongoing fighting against forces loyal to the TPLF, including the call to veteran members of the Ethiopian army to fight alongside the Ethiopian defense forces.

Over the past several days, the TPLF declared control of key cities in Amhara region, Dessie and Kombolcha, some 380 km north of the capital. This was, eventually, followed by huge popular mobilization by the Amhara and Afar regions as well as other regional states in the country to fight back the TPLF’s expansion.

Since the early hours of Nov. 4, 2020, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the Tigray region.

The conflict has since expanded to Tigray’s neighboring Amhara and Afar regions.

The HoPR, the lower house of the Ethiopian parliament, has designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization.

Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat last week called for the immediate cessation of hostilities, the full respect for the life and property of civilians, as well as state infrastructure, a separate AU statement read, while urging the parties to the conflict to engage in dialogue and seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the country.

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