A3+1 Press Stakeout following the briefing on Peace and Security in Africa -
The situation in Tigray
FRIDAY 2ND JULY 2021
1. We are making this statement as the African three plus one. Namely, Kenya, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tunisia.
2. We are pained by the suffering experienced by our brothers and sisters in Tigray these past few months. We send our condolences to all the families who have lost members to violence including aid workers.
3. We are especially outraged and saddened by the pain of all the women and girls who have suffered sexual violence.
4. We condemn without reservation the targeting of unarmed civilians. In doing so, we call for all parties with the means to cause harm to cease any attacks or threats to unarmed civilians.
5. We are particularly concerned about the potential implications of the recent destruction of the bridge over the Tekezi river, connecting Shire and Gondar. It is indicative of a callous attitude to the needs of civilians in crisis.
6. We further condemn the killing of three staff members of Doctors Without Borders in Tigray on the 25th of June.
7. We demand that all parties respect international law including humanitarian principles and the moral codes that are at the core of Africa’s cultures and religions.
8. Throughout the last months when division and violence has been experienced in Tigray, we have welcomed the government’s resourcing of a significant proportion of the humanitarian needs in Tigray.
9. We again urge the international humanitarian community to move with speed and scale up assistance. These efforts should be clearly and strongly supported by the Ethiopian government and all parties with all impediments being removed.
10. We also support the democratic aspirations of the Ethiopian people as expressed in their most recent election.
11. We have been gratified by the interim reports, especially that of the African Union election observer mission which remarked that the polls were carried out in an “orderly, peaceful and credible manner”.
12. We hope that the election becomes the foundation of a robust national conversation on peace, cohesion, development, and the celebration of diversity and pluralism.
13. Today, the situation in Tigray remains of concern but there are clear opportunities for peace to emerge.
14. We welcome the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire by the Government of Ethiopia and stress that the Security Council, and the International Community, should appreciate this announcement as an opportunity that must be capitalized on.
15. We hope that it can be translated into a permanent, comprehensive and lasting ceasefire in order to extend humanitarian care to every man, woman and child who needs it, in every part of Tigray.
16. That ceasefire must be heeded and implemented if we are to implement the Silencing of the Guns which Africans have set out in our Agenda 2063.
17. We therefore call on all parties in Tigray that have not pronounced on the cessation of hostilities to do so without delay and to act accordingly by ceasing all armed operations.
18. We further call for the withdrawal of any and all non-Ethiopian forces from Tigray and the immediate standing down of all militias from neighboring federal states.
19. This silencing of the guns will allow Tigray’s farmers and traders to return to their farms and shops so that they recover their livelihoods.
20. A ceasefire by all parties will also allow the deployment of the tools available in Africa’s peace and security architecture to help Ethiopia be at peace with itself.
21. The people and the Government of Ethiopia appreciate the instruments of dialogue and reconciliation forged by Africans these past few decades.
22. After all, most of the agreements that built this peace and security architecture were forged in Addis Ababa by our Heads of State and Government with Ethiopia’s constructive involvement.
23. We now recommend its tools to Ethiopia to make use of them, as many of us have done. Doing so will show our peoples and the world that we have processes and skills that can indeed deliver African Solutions to African Challenges.
24. We have today urged the Security Council to encourage and support Ethiopian solutions — supported by the region — starting in the order of ceasefire, humanitarian delivery, dialogue, reconciliation and responsibility.
25. Now is the time for careful diplomacy, the rapid scale up of humanitarian response, prioritizing people, appreciation of regional stability, and the curbing of misinformation and disinformation.